May 8, 2002 | By: Aimee D. Heald

In November 2001, more than 100 women involved in agriculture came together in Owensboro to formulate plans of action at a Taproots Leadership Seminar. Many of the teams began working on their projects immediately upon returning home.

Six months later, the same group of women will gather at the Elizabethtown Tourism and Convention Center on May 31 to report their progress in a follow-up conference named “Seeds of Growth: Cultivating Change.”

Some projects begun after the November seminar included promotion of farmer’s markets, cooperation between food banks and farmers, stone fence education in middle school and one group from the Governor’s Office of Agricultural Policy began to plan the follow-up meeting.

“The women left the taproot’s meeting energized about carrying out their team projects,” said Bonnie Tanner, assistant director of Extension for family and consumer sciences. “This follow-up meeting will give the teams a chance to show everyone else their progress and get some help if they have gotten stuck at a particular place in their projects.”

The conference begins at 8:30 a.m. EST. and concludes at 3 p.m. Teams are encouraged to bring a display detailing the progress of their project. The meeting provides an opportunity for teams to showcase their work and to network with other teams in the state.

Each team will formally report on their progress and any obstacles they have face along the way. After the reporting time, the group will have a buffet style lunch featuring Kentucky grown products and then have a time of peer feedback on their project.

“The teams will be paired together based on a Needs Analysis,” Tanner said. “That will be done prior to the event using information from a reporting form teams need to fill out before they attend.”

Tanner said she hopes at least one member from each team will attend the follow-up meeting to offer and gain insight to and from other teams. Toward the end of the day, teams will have an opportunity to develop strategy in the areas of decision making, idea marketing and entrepreneurship. Area-specific facilitators will help teams with the above strategies.

Teams who have reached the goals they set for themselves six months ago, and those who have made significant strides toward their goals, will be recognized to close the day’s events.

Door prizes will be awarded throughout the day and Tanner requests each team bring an item valued at $10 to $15 to share the character of their region of the Commonwealth for door prizes.

Dress is business-casual and overnight accommodations are available across the street from the convention center at the Holiday Inn, 270-769-2344.

Registration is $7 per team member and must be received by May 24, 2002. Make checks payable to the University of Kentucky. Contact Kim Henken at UK to register or request materials at 233 Scovell Hall, Lexington, Ky. 40546-0064, or call 859-257-5482.


Bonnie Tanner 859-257-3887