“Women Managing the Farm” Event Planned

A popular three-day conference that helps prepare women to successfully participate in multiple farm roles will be held Feb. 14-16 in Manhattan.

Women Managing the Farm will celebrate its 20th year. More than 200 participants are anticipated to attend pre-conference sessions on Feb. 14; the main conference agenda Feb. 15-16; or both.

The conference is organized by a committee of volunteers from farm organizations, commodity groups, government offices, and producers, and managed by Kansas State University’s Department of Agricultural Economics.

“It’s hard to believe that it was 20 years ago when this idea started,” said K-State Research and Extension farm economist Robin Reid, who is in her eighth year on the organizing committee. “Our goal is to educate participants on many farming issues. So, even though we emphasize the role that women have on the farm, we focus this conference to involve landowners, farmers, farm wives, or any other role associated with the farm.”

Janet Carlson, who with her husband manages a cow-calf pasture rental operation in the Flint Hills near Manhattan, said she will be attending her ninth conference this year.

“I really look forward to Women Managing the Farm and have shared its value with family and friends over the years,” she said. “In my particular case, my husband and I are facing a situation where we need to make decisions regarding passing our land to heirs, as well as the tax implications and income needs as we age. The conference provides sessions of particular interest to individuals in these situations, as well as women who are actively engaged in the day-to-day operations of their farms.”

This year’s agenda includes 25 breakout sessions for participants to choose from. Some highlights include:

  • Planning for the Future of the Farm.
  • Raising and Grazing Cover Crops.
  • Strategies for Recruiting and Retaining Farm Employees.
  • Understanding Your Farm’s Profitability.
  • From Concept to Consumer: Selling Food Products in Kansas.

The full lineup of breakout sessions is available online at http://womenmanagingthefarm.com/agenda.

“I appreciate that the speakers and breakout session presenters recognize the importance that women play in the overall success of farm operations, whether it is as an absentee landowner making decisions, or ‘get-your-seat-on-the-tractor’ situation,” Carlson said. “I like that speakers have recognized the important role that women play on the farm.”

Motivational speaker Kaila Anderson will present a pre-conference session titled, Rise and Renew: Wellness and Resetting in Agriculture, on Feb. 14 from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Also on Feb. 14, participants can take part in pre-conference van tours from Wakeeney, Hays, Kinsley, El Dorado, Stockton or Garnett. In addition to stops in those areas, organizers have planned other stops as the tour vans make their way to Manhattan for the Feb. 15-16 portion of the conference.

Interested participants are welcome to join the tours at their nearest pickup location. Vans will also bring participants back to their original location once the conference is over.

Keynote speakers during the Feb. 15-16 portion of the schedule include comedian Mark Mayfield, who will inject humor into a talk about skills to manage mental health; Matt Roberts speaking on the agricultural economy in 2024 and beyond; and Kim Bremmer, whose talk is titled, The Power of Women in Agriculture: Advocating Our Language of Leadership.

Registration costs $175 and is available online.