Female farmers, growers and those women interested in becoming farm operators can learn more about the industry during a conference offered by Ohio State University Extension, which is the outreach arm of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University.
The East Ohio Women in Agriculture Conference is March 24 from 9 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. at the R.G. Drage Career Technical Center, 2800 Richville Drive Southwest, in Massillon. The event is targeted toward women, including those of high school age, who are interested in, involved in or want to become involved in food, agricultural or natural resources production or small business, said Heather Neikirk, an OSU Extension educator and co-organizer of the conference.
“Ohio women in agriculture are paving the way for the future,” Neikirk said. “As Extension educators and agricultural professionals, it is our mission to ensure that these women and young women have access to the tools and opportunities necessary to learn, grow, connect, inspire and empower themselves and one another to meet the challenge of producing food, fuel and fiber for a global population.”
Statewide, some 31,413 women are reported as principal operators of farms. Combined, those farms cover some 3.8 million acres and contribute $230 million in economic impact, according to the 2012 U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Census of Agriculture.
The conference will include remarks by Marlene Eick, co-founder and client lead of Herdmark Media, a Wooster, Ohio-based agricultural media company. Educators with OSU Extension as well as industry experts will conduct the conference sessions. The sessions will include:
- Five Legal Things You Should Know about Farmland Leases
- Equine Dental
- Renewable Energy Development in Ohio Agriculture
- Beekeeping Basics
- Season Extension Techniques for Your Farm
- Assigning Farm Tasks for Children
- Forage Identification and Hay Selection
- Cut Flowers for Income
- Farmer’s Market Basics
The conference will also feature a special session led by the Ohio FFA for high school-aged participants.
Registration is $55, or $30 for students, which includes lunch and a continental breakfast. Information is available at regonline.com/womeninageast or by calling 740-622-2265. The registration deadline is March 17.
Additionally, on March 25 from 8 a.m. to 3:45 p.m., also at the R.G. Drage Center, a “Living the Small Farm Dream” Small Farms Conference will take place. Participants can register for this and the East Ohio Women in Agriculture conference at a reduced rate if attending both. For more information, visit agnr.osu.edu/small-farm-programs.
For more information on the Women in Agriculture conference, contact Neikirk at 330-832-9856, ext. 3476, or firstname.lastname@example.org. More information about women in agriculture can also be found at the Ohio Women in Agriculture blog at https://u.osu.edu/ohwomeninag