Women producers looking to increase their business-management skills are encouraged to attend the 2019 Women in Agriculture Conference on Thursday and Friday, February 21-22. Organized by the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, the conference will be at the Holiday Inn Convention Center, in Kearney.

The Women in Agriculture Conference allows women to build relationships with each other, attend workshops and gain valuable knowledge that will help them support their own farms and ranches. The theme for this year’s conference is “Take Charge of Change.”

A great lineup of speakers includes:

• Tim Hammerich, an Agribusiness Recruiter and the host of the “Future of Agriculture” weekly podcast. He is the Founder of AgGrad.com, which helps students and young professionals find their place in modern agriculture.

• The keynote speaker, Marji Guyler-Alaniz, is President and Founder of FarmHer. Through FarmHer she is updating the image of agriculture by showing the female side of farming and ranching, creating community amongst women in agriculture, and outreach to young women interested in agriculture.

• Jim Robb is the Director and Senior Agricultural Economist at the Livestock Marketing Information Center. Prior to joining the LMIC, Jim was an Agricultural Economist at the University of Nebraska and also worked in the agricultural banking sector. The LMIC is a unique cooperative effort that supports market education, research, and outlook.

• Joan Ruskamp is the capstone speaker. She and her husband, Steve, operate a feedlot and row-crop farm west of Dodge, Nebraska. She received the Livestock Industry Appreciation Award from the Nebraska Corn Board and the FarmHer Hall of Fame award. In addition, she has been active in her community as a 4-H leader, EMT, and other local organizations. Joan has been a 25 year 4-H leader and currently serves as Chair on the Cattleman’s Beef Board (CBB).

The conference also features more than 30 concurrent workshops on production, market, financial, human and legal risk. I don’t have time to list them all, but a few that caught my eye include:

• Keeping Good Records, its more than a computer program

• Trends in Nebraska Cash Rent and Crop Share Leases

• “I want a candy bar” to “I want a new car”

• Prepping for Grain Market Opportunities

• What in the World are People Eating

• The Mechanics of Estate and Transition Planning

• Confronting and Anticipating the Unexpected

• Cover Crops, Cattle & Cash

• Figuring Farm Budgets

• and my favorite... “Honey, Can You Stop by the FSA Office for Me?”

Registration is available at the Women in Agriculture website at https://wia.unl.edu. The cost is $125 through Feb. 11 and $150 after that. The registration fee includes all workshop materials, registration, meals and breaks.

The conference is hosted by Nebraska Extension and the Department of Agricultural Economics at Nebraska. For more information, visit the Women in Agriculture website at https://wia.unl.edu or contact your local Nebraska Extension office.