June 18, 2003 | By: Aimee D. Heald

In 1999 Kentucky women involved in agricultural pursuits began formally meeting to share experience, advice and common ground. Four statewide conferences later, the group is ready to incorporate as a membership organization.

“It’s hard to believe it’s been four years since Alice Baesler and I planned our first conference,” said Bonnie Tanner, assistant director for family and consumer sciences for the University of Kentucky’s College of Agriculture. “Strong participation that first year and each year since is a strong indicator of the important role women play in Kentucky agriculture. “

Tanner said that while the process of planning and conducting conferences has been effective, she realizes there is a tremendous opportunity for much more.

“The current executive committee has initiated the process to incorporate Kentucky Women in Agriculture as a membership organization,” she said. “We believe incorporating will make us more effective as individuals and as a group.”

The membership drive will launch in the fall, followed by election of officers and a board of directors. Officers will include a president, vice-president, secretary, treasurer, reporter and seven district delegates. The geographic boundaries for the districts will mirror those of the new Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service districts. A map is available on the Kentucky Women in Ag Web Site.

“To make this organization a strong and vital part of our state’s agricultural industry, leaders are coming forward to take on new roles,” Tanner said. “The need for individuals willing to step forward and be advocates for women in agriculture will continue to grow, and a strong, representative organization will be a valuable asset to us all.”

Tanner said the formal organizational kickoff is planned for Oct. 3, 2003, including first elections. She said the newsletter sent to past conference participants will include more detailed information as it becomes available and the web site will always have the most up-to-date information.

Kentucky Women in Ag are invited to participate in a special lunch during the UK Robinson Station All Commodity Field Day. The lunch will be July 17 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. at the Breathitt County Extension Office. To pre-register for this event, send an e-mail to Deborah Murray by July 7.

Please provide your name, address, phone number and e-mail address and indicate your choice of either a chicken salad croissant or vegetarian salad for your lunch. You may also reach Murray at (606) 666-2438, ext. 237 or fax (606) 666-2215. The field day itself will begin at Robinson Station at 3:30 p.m.



Bonnie Tanner   859-257-7255