August 16, 2006 | By: Laura Skillman

The Kentucky Women in Agriculture organization reflects the diversity of women in all aspects of agriculture, from landowner to producer. The group’s upcoming conference offers educational opportunities as diverse as today’s farm women.

“Rooted in Tradition - Exploring the Future” is the theme for the seventh Kentucky Women in Agriculture Conference Nov. 1-3 at the Clarion Hotel & Conference Center in Louisville.

Two preconference workshops, Risk-Assessed Business Planning for Small Producers and From Field to Table, will kick off activities Nov 1.

The business planning workshop is designed for anyone wanting to improve the financial outcomes of their agricultural enterprise. Participants will learn fundamental steps of business planning, how to develop an enterprise budget, and basic financial and accounting management practices. Participants will receive a notebook of guidelines and forms to work through the risk management practices presented in this workshop.

Marion Simon from Kentucky State University will conduct the workshop that is supported by a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Southern Region Risk Management Education Center. There is no charge for this workshop. Advance registration is required and limited to the first 25 registrants.

From Farm to Table workshop participants will learn about the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture’s New Crops and Sustainable Agriculture programs and the Slow Foods movement across the country. Speakers will share information about marketing products to specialty grocery stores and ways to extend the growing season. Registration fee is $10 and includes lunch and transportation for an afternoon tour of Oxmoor Gardens, Creation Gardens and Grateful Green. Advance registration is required and limited to the first 40 registrants.

The conference begins Nov. 2 with Donya Lester, an Indiana farm wife and executive secretary of the Purdue Agricultural Alumni Association, as the featured speaker. Three sets of concurrent sessions will be offered throughout the day in tracks titled heritage, agritourism, farm safety and security, and telling your story.

“Agriculture Adventures: Kentucky,” a traveling program sponsored by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture that introduces agriculture to schoolchildren, will be featured at lunch. The evening will conclude with “Taste of Kentucky,” where participants will be able to sample many value-added Kentucky products. 

Activities on Friday morning will include a series of roundtable discussions. Participants can choose from a list of 18 topics ranging from bee products to USDA programs.

Preregistration for the conference is required, and registration is limited. The registration deadline is Oct. 20. Registration forms, fee and scholarship information, and conference updates are available at the organization’s Web site.


Kim Henken, 859-257-3887