September 27, 2000 | By: Aimee D. Heald

Still riding the heels of a successful inaugural conference in 1999, women leaders in agriculture are planning another event for November 2000 that promises to be bigger and better than before.

"Breaking New Ground: Managing Change" is the theme for the 2000 Women in Agriculture Conference, Nov. 9 and 10 on the Kentucky State Fair and Expo Center in Louisville. The conference is in conjunction with the 2000 Agricultural Summit, which is themed "It's the Year 2000 – What Now?" The Summit is aimed at farmers and agriculture leaders throughout the Commonwealth.

"One of the new things this year is free health screenings," said Pam Sigler, conference executive committee and family and consumer sciences Extension associate for the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture. "Health care professionals will provide free skin cancer and bone density screenings, cholesterol level checks. Mammograms will be offered for a marginal fee, however all insurance cards will be accepted."

Last year, women found short information sessions with industry professionals helpful to their farm businesses and agricultural careers. This year, there still will be 50-minute informational sessions, but a new feature has been added in response to comments from last year's attendees.

"Some people commented that they wanted longer, more interactive sessions," Sigler said. "So, we've added some 90-minute work sessions dealing with money matters, marketing and merchandising, farm management practices and a survival guide for the holidays."

Once again, women will get the opportunity to engage in roundtable discussions about agricultural issues facing women, their families and their communities.

A special feature of the Women in Agriculture Conference is the Kentucky Extravaganza, which features value-added Kentucky food products, exhibits, trade show sales and crafts. Advertising space is available on a limited basis in the Kentucky Extravaganza booklet. Interested businesses or institutions should contact Karen Armstrong-Cummings for further details at, or at 859-233-7845 and 888-440- 7845 by Friday, October 27, 2000.

While at the conference, attendees will be able to: complete their water quality plan; receive information guides for women business owners; learn about potential grants and funding opportunities; sign up for the Kentucky Home-Based Business directory; sign up for free Internet marketing; and, for an additional charge, participate in craft workshops.

The registration fee is $50, which includes the Women in Ag Conference and the Agricultural Summit, as well as Thursday lunch, Friday breakfast and lunch, and admission to Kentucky Extravaganza. Registration must be received by Oct. 27. Make sure to register early or on time, as the conference is limited to 400 participants. The Executive Inn West is the official conference hotel, with room rates at $69 for up to four people per room. Call (502) 367-6161 to make a reservation.

Please mail your registration to Dr. Bonnie Tanner, University of Kentucky, 206 Scovell Hall, Lexington, KY 40546-0064. For more information about the Women in Ag Conference, contact Alice Baesler, Kentucky Dept. of Agriculture, (502) 564-2133, or Bonnie Tanner, UK, (859) 257-3887. A limited number of scholarships are available to cover conference expenses.


Pam Sigler 859-257-3888