KEARNEY, Neb. – Every year, Nebraska women involved in the agriculture industry gather for two days at an “event designed to educate and uplift.” Attendees at the Nebraska Women in Agriculture conference learn how to better manage risk, improve their farms and ranches, and become more successful operators and business partners, according to the event’s webpage (wia-unl.edu).
More than 30 concurrent workshops offer information when managing five kinds of risk: production, market, financial, human and legal.
“Women have always been an integral partner in the success of Nebraska agriculture,” The 2017 Comprehensive Report on the WIA Conference by Marilyn R. Schlake and Rebecca J. Vogt reads. “They have worked in roles that are often left undefined, yet vital to the health and well-being of their agricultural operation and to the agricultural community at large. As societal and economic changes have occurred, so have the roles of women producers within and beyond the farm or ranch operation.
“Realizing the important role women have within the agricultural industry, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension Service, located within the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, started the Nebraska conference in 1985 to assist women in their agricultural businesses.”
To determine the effectiveness of the conference, researchers surveyed 782 participants and identified the following as key findings: women self-identify as having multiple roles within their agricultural operation and industry; women are interested in gaining more information about farm and ranch operations; WIA attendees are taking steps to manage their farm/ranch/business risks; WIA is helping to create positive economic impacts for women agriculturalists (45 percent reported moderate to high impacts in profit for the farm or ranch, 54 percent in effectiveness for business management, and 47 percent in safety for family and employees); and WIA is helping to create positive personal impacts for women agriculturalists (63 percent reported moderate to high impacts in confidence in management of their operation, and 62 percent increased family and/or business communication). In addition, more than one-half of female farmers improved farm/ranch business financial decisions, their role in farm/ranch business management and production decisions, and personal health and well-being, as a direct result of attending the WIA conference.
The 2019 event is scheduled for Thursday and Friday, Feb. 21-22 at the Holiday Inn Convention Center in Kearney, Neb. The cost is $125 (early-bird registration by Feb. 12) or $150 for regular registration.
Visit www.wia-unl.edu for more information and an updated schedule of events as the date nears.