Friday, March 4, 2016

Women in Agriculture Conference scheduled March 19

Women farmers from Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington will gather at 31 sites March 19 for the 2016 Women in Agriculture Conference and practical farming advice.

Maggie Hallam grows 40 types of vegetables at her Cripple Creek Organics farm.
Alaska participants will meet at Room 107 of the Murie Building on the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus and at the Kenai River Center in Soldotna. The event will run from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and will include speakers via videoconference and on-site activities.

This year’s event, “Power Up Your Communication, Power Up Your Farm,” covers your communication style and how you use it to manage, motivate and influence people. 

Keynote speakers will include Wendy Knopp and Michael Stolp with Northwest Farm Credit Services and Shelly Boshart Davis, a third-generation grass seed farmer from Tangent, Oregon, farmer from Tangent, Oregon, who will talk about how she developed her communication approach to improve her business strategies and increase sales.

More than 650 farmers participated in the annual conference last year at 27 sites, including 29 people in Fairbanks. Meriam Karlsson, a UAF horticulture professor and site coordinator, said attendees included peony growers, women who grew produce for farmers markets, students and others. Two women came from Delta Junction. Karlsson hopes attendance will be good again this year.

“We have a lot of women farmers in Alaska,” she said.

Washington State University sponsors the conference. Karlsson said organizers believe women farmers have distinct challenges, learn differently than men and appreciate networking with others. The conference is designed for women who have been farming for years, as well as new and aspiring farmers. Supporting spouses, students, interns or people who own an agriculture-related business are also welcome.

The $30 registration fee includes a light breakfast, lunch and conference materials. Student registration is $20. Scholarships are available for beginning farmers, college agriculture students, and 4-H and FFA members.  The scholarship deadline is March 11. Online registration and the scholarship application are available at

For more information about the UAF event, contact Karlsson at 907-474-7005 or or Heidi Chay in Soldotna at 907-283-8732, Ext. 5, or

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