Agriculture News

January 5, 2017

Registration open for 2017 Women in Agriculture conference

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Women who work in the agricultural industry can network and learn about topics ranging from business planning to gardening for health at the 2017 Midwest Women in Agriculture Conference.

The conference will be held Feb. 22-23 at the Swan Lake Resort, 5203 Plymouth LaPorte Trail, Plymouth. Participants may attend a pre-conference seminar and dinner on Feb. 21 for an additional fee. The annual event, sponsored by Purdue Extension, is designed to bring together women from across the Midwest to discuss and share information about women’s unique experiences working in farming and agribusiness.

“Every year, women who attend this event tell us that they really appreciate the social support,” said Kelly Heckaman, Purdue Extension educator in Kosciusko County. “It means a lot to know that you’re not alone, that there are others with the same experiences and challenges as you. Women come and say they learn, they network and they make new friends.”

Several of this year’s sessions focus on financial topics, such as succession planning and achieving profitability when margins are tight, Heckaman said. The pre-conference seminar, “Using the Farm Financial Suite to Make Decisions During Tight Margins,” includes sessions on long-term crop price outlook and trends in cash rents and land values, as well as using financial analysis tools to assess and improve financial performance. Participants in the pre-conference will be allowed to use financial tools from the Purdue Center for Commercial Agriculture to assess their farms’ financial health.

Speakers and their topics will be:

* Paige Pratt of the Kansas Farm Bureau and co-owner of Johnson Farms, LLC: “Family Farm Transitions: The Good, the Bad and the In-Laws.”

* Laura Daniels of Heartwood Farm and Star Blends Feed: “Using Baler Twine and Barn Lime to Live a Life with Purpose.”

* Emily Dougherty, Indiana FFA Southern Region vice president: “Realizing a New Vision for Agriculture.”

* Tamara Benjamin, assistant program leader for Purdue Extension’s Diversified Food and Farming Systems, will present a session on the DFFS program and how it is connecting and supporting farmers across the Midwest.

Registration for the event is $90 per person for both days of the conference and $80 for one day if paid before Feb. 8. After Feb. 8, registration is $140 for both days and $115 for one day. The pre-conference session is $15 to attend in addition to the main conference, or $30 if attended independently.

Group lodging rates of $89 per night are available at Swan Lake Resort under the group “Midwest Women in Agriculture” until Jan. 21.

Participants may download registration forms at

For more information, contact Heckaman at 574-372-2340 or           

Writer: Jessica Merzdorf, 765-494-7719, 

Source: Kelly Heckaman, 574-372-2340,

Agricultural Communications: (765) 494-8415;
Darrin Pack, 
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