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Guest Opinions

Wyoming Women – Prepare for Some Fun in Casper

Written by Traci Faxon

Wyoming women in ag – your jobs are many and your responsibilities are endless! You are an important part of your agriculture operation. You deserve a day out to laugh a little, learn a little and meet new friends. Wyoming Women in Ag (WWIA) has provided women throughout Wyoming an opportunity to recognize their important role in agriculture while showcasing their unique interests and needs at our yearly ag symposium. This one-day event offers a great opportunity to build knowledge, learn new opportunities, gain new skills and build a network of support for women involved in all aspects of agriculture.

Most women in agriculture come from various backgrounds and often have very different ties to agriculture.  Many of us spend days on the tractor, hours working on the books or working livestock in all kinds of weather.  Others spend their time building relationships through sales, accounting, lobbying or supporting their husband’s agriculture careers or family ranches. Maybe you are a friend of agriculture and love to spend your free weekends helping a friend brand cattle. If you are one of these women, the 2016 Wyoming Women’s Ag Symposium is for you! 

The 23rd Annual Wyoming Women’s Ag Symposium will be held Nov. 11 at the Ramkota Hotel in Casper. The daylong symposium is geared to various topics that women deal with in the agriculture industry, although the men are welcome to attend.

WWIA will start the event by offering a Nov. 10 evening hors d’oeuveres social, open to all friends and family interested in agriculture issues. The night features Karen Budd-Falen speaking on private property rights and entertainment by Wyoming Poet Laureate Pat Frolander. Don’t forget, this evening event is also free to all attendees.

This year’s symposium will motivate and entertain you to “Advocate for Agriculture” with keynote speaker Greg Peterson. Greg and his brothers found a fun way to share their life on the farm with a “few” of their friends. They created YouTube videos that quickly reached over 40 million views. Wow, that’s really advocating for agriculture! Everyone is sure to enjoy the Peterson Brothers’ farming parodies set to popular songs, and you may even relate a bit of your own agriculture life portrayed. Check out their videos at youtube.com/user/thePetersonFarmBros.

Once Greg has inspired you and made you laugh, WWIA offers you a full day of educational workshops, great Wyoming products at the trade show and lunch! 

After the morning keynote, the day will continue with a wide variety of breakout sessions designed to target the issues that women see on the farm and ranch every day. Breakout sessions this year include Wyoming Livestock Board Director Steve True talking about livestock theft and practical tips to preventing theft. Velvet Hiser and Kelly Weidenbach will talk about health issues on the farm and ranch, and Cole Ehmke will look at Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) in his session.

During afternoon breakouts, Kim Garrett will look at bookkeeping and helpful software for keeping the ranch’s financials in order, and Barb Sexton will look at soil health and conditions.

Following lunch, a panel of three distinguished women in the ag industry will look at hot topics facing farming, ranching and women in ag today. Panelists include Wyoming Department of Agriculture Deputy Director Stacia Berry, Wyoming Ag in the Classroom Executive Director Jessie Dafoe and Wyoming Association of Conservations Districts Executive Director Bobbie Frank.

In between each session, attendees will have the chance to shop at a wide variety of booths around the symposium. Vendors will sell items ranging from pottery to skin care and photography to fun gifts. Make sure to stop by and check it all out.

Of course, none of this could happen without the support of our generous sponsors. We’re incredibly grateful to Jonah Wealth Management, Jonah Bank of Wyoming and Farm Credit Services of America for their generous support of this year’s symposium.

Registration for Friday’s Symposium is $25 before Nov. 5 or $30 beginning Nov. 6. Register online at wywomeninag.org. We can’t wait to see you there!