October 22, 1999 | By: Aimee D. Heald
LEXINGTON, KY

The number of women involved in agricultural pursuits steadily is increasing. As we move into the new millennium, women are becoming more visible and respected in their agricultural careers.

Not all of these women are on the farm, but those who are on the farm are an integral part of the family business.

Alice Baesler, principal assistant at the Kentucky Department of Agriculture attended the second annual International Conference for Women in Agriculture in Washington D.C. in 1998. While there she saw many familiar faces from the Commonwealth.

"After we got back (from the D.C. conference) we decided we needed a meeting for Kentucky women (in agriculture)," Baesler said.

Those decisions resulted in the coordination of the inaugural conference of Kentucky women involved in agriculture: Breaking New Ground. Primarily sponsored by the KDA and the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, the conference will be held Nov. 11 and 12 at the Galt House East in Louisville, Ky.

Highlights of the event include practical workshop tracks on resources, education, finances, marketing, health and safety; a taste of Ky. Celebration Product Fair, featuring Ky. agricultural food products; and roundtable discussions about agricultural issues facing women, their families and their communities.

"The time is right for this conference," Baesler, conference co-chair, said. "We think the big thing in agriculture right now is diversification, and women will play an important part. We're stressing education, motivation and action.

Baesler encourages any woman involved in agriculture to be a part of the conference. Registration is limited to 300 participants and slots are filling fast. The deadline to register is Nov. 4. The registration fee is $25 and hotel arrangements can be made with the Galt House East, (502) 589-5200. For more information contact Alice Baesler, (502) 564-6676, or Bonnie Tanner on the UK campus, (606) 257-3887. A limited number of scholarships are available to cover conference expenses.

More than 25 sponsors and guests such as Ky. Agriculture Commissioner, Billy Ray Smith, Dean of the UK College of Agriculture, Dr. Oran Little, Undersecretary for Rural Development at the USDA, Jill Long Thompson, and many others are involved. Make plans to attend today. – 30 –

Contact: 

Writer: Aimee D. Heald 606-257-9764

Source: Bonnie Tanner 606-257-3887