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Women in Agriculture Conference Coming to Our Region on December 9, 2017

By Sylvia Crum

Women in Agriculture Conference Coming  to Our Region on December 9, 2017The Virginia Beginning Farmer and Rancher Coalition, Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE), Farm Credit, and Appalachian Sustainable Development (ASD) have come together to offer a daylong agricultural conference to celebrate women in agriculture.

Open to the public and designed for both men and women, The Women in Agriculture Conference is December 9th, from 9am until 3pm at the Southwest Virginia Higher Ed Center, One Partnership Circle, PO Box 1987, Abingdon, VA 24212. Phone: (276) 619-4300.  The conference fee is $15 and this covers lunch and resources.  Space is limited and registration is encouraged by December 1, 2017 at: www.asdevelop.org/wia-conference. For additional information, contact:  Amy (Lee County Extension) at afannon@vt.edu and (276) 546-2057 or Tamara at tmcnaughton@asdevelop.org and (276) 623-1121. This event is open to the public and all skill sets and levels are welcome.

Dr. Megan Seibel, Deputy Secretary of Agriculture & Forestry, is the conference keynote speaker along with a day full of educational workshops, a trade show, and a networking opportunity to bring people together to learn, empower, and encourage each other. Information about available programs and resources such as AgriAbility, Farm Credit Knowledge Center, Wolf Farm Natural Elements, Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and Farm Bureau Women will also be available to participants.

The Women in Agriculture Conference is designed for anyone interested in farming and agriculture and is an atmosphere where all questions are good questions and welcomed! Both men and women are encouraged to attend and seek knowledge. The conference offers a diverse agenda that offers something for everyone.

Participants can choose from three workshop timeslots with four topics of interest. Workshops topics include:
• Pollination and Pollinators with Phil Blevins (VCE)
• Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) with Adam Watson (ASD)
• Cultivating Woodland and Medicinal Herbs with Emily Lachniet (ASD)
• Apprenticeships on the farm: Blue Ridge Women in Ag with Carol Coulter (Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture)
• Estate Planning with Diane Barton (Farm Bureau)
• Emergency Management on the Farm with Scott Jerrell (VCE)
• Farm Equipment 101 with Andy Overbay (VCE)
• Pesticides 101 with Jeannie Layton-Dunning (VCE)
• Hand Tool Maintenance with Wolf Farm and Wolf Farm Natural Elements
• Marketing with Dr. Kim Morgan (VCE)
• Financial Tools with Demi Sexton (VCE)
• Whole Farm Planning with Kelli Scott (VCE)

Participants may also register for one-on-one consultations with experts in the areas of whole farm planning, debt management, estate planning, and financing. Consultations will be an hour long and are meant to give participants guidance in next steps they should take.  Consultations will be given in order of registration and space is limited.

Join us as we encourage and celebrate the role of women in agriculture. Register on-line today at: www.asdevelop.org/wia-conference.  Brochures for mail in registration can be found at local extension office or at the ASD office.  Please register before December 1st.  For more information, contact: Amy (Lee County Extension) at afannon@vt.edu and (276) 546-2057 or Tamara at tmcnaughton@asdevelop.org and (276) 623-1121.

About Appalachian Sustainable Development (ASD)
Nationally known and respected for its commitment to local farmers, Appalachian Sustainable Development is transitioning Appalachia to a more resilient economy and a healthier population by supporting local agriculture, exploring new economic opportunities and connecting people with healthy food. Since 1995, ASD has served 15 counties in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. As ASD’s work continues, it will expand its focus to include regional partnerships that build important connections to increase market access and bring necessary resources to the rural communities in its physical footprint. ASD operates programs that create jobs in farming and agriculture and address food insecurity. To learn more, go to asdevelop.org or visit Facebook or Twitter.

For more information about ASD, go to: www.asdevelop.org, facebook / twitter, or call 276-623-1121.

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