Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Women farmers invited to marketing conference at UAF

The 2015 Women in Agriculture Conference will offer women in Alaska, Washington, Idaho and Oregon a unique opportunity to gather in 28 locations on Saturday, Feb. 21 for knowledgeable speakers, inspiring stories, networking with other producers and practical advice for learning new skills.
More women, like Pioneer Produce's Jen Becker, are entering agriculture professions.
“Put Your Best Boot Forward” will explain how to make sense of marketing.

Locally, the conference will be held at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Margaret Murie Building, room 107, 982 Koyukuk Drive. Parking is available behind the building or at the UA Museum of the North and is free on weekends.
More and more, producers are asked, “Tell me about your farm.” It’s more important than ever to be able to talk about it positively and with passion. Everyone has a story that needs to be told to promote agriculture, according to Washington State University Douglas County Extension Director and chair of the conference, Margaret Viebrock. The format enables WSU to offer headline speakers at all locations, while still tailoring the conference content for each region.

“Last year, nearly 600 women attended,” said Viebrock. “Many attendees reported it was the best conference for women producers because it presented practical information they could use right away.”

The lineup includes farmer and marketing specialist Emily Asmus of Walla Walla, Washington, who will showcase how her farm, Welcome Table Farms, keeps its brand fresh to build interest and loyalty. Learn what tools and techniques are critical to her marketing plan.

Marketing expert Erica Mills of Claxon Marketing believes every woman should have a consistently compelling way to describe her farm business. She knows this isn’t easy and will help farms of all shapes and sizes tackle this challenge. Using proven tools participants will learn a simple three-step marketing method and create a marketing action plan that gets results.

“In addition to telling a compelling story as part of a marketing plan, this conference will help provide ways to inform decision makers, non-farmers and community members about best management practices,” Viebrock added.

This 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 conference registration fee is $30. Register by Feb. 13 to receive the early bird price of $25. The fee includes the workshop, light breakfast, lunch and conference materials.

Persons with a disability requiring special accommodations may contact Margaret Viebrock, viebrock@wsu.edu. Anyone needing more information about the UAF event, contact Carolyn Chapin at 907-474-5548, carolyn.chapin@alaska.edu or Meriam Karlsson at 907-474-7005, mgkarlsson@alaska.edu.

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