March 3, 2016 - 9:45am -- heppe.6


MASSILLON, Ohio- Ohio State University (OSU) Extension will host the 3rd
Annual East Ohio Women in Agriculture Conference. The conference is planned for
Friday, April 1 from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. at a new location, the RG Drage Career
Technical Center, 2800 Richville Drive SE in Massillon. All women and young
women (high school age) who are interested, involved in, or want to become
involved with food, agricultural, or natural resources production or small business are
encouraged to attend.

The United States Department of Agriculture’s #womeninag network recently
released a snapshot of Ohio’s women in agriculture. Data shows Ohio has 31,413
women farm operators that farm 3,883,067 acres contributing 230.1 million dollars in
economic impact. The 2012 USDA Census indicated the number of women farm
operators was significantly large for eastern Ohio. Of the nineteen Ohio counties
with over 500 women operators, ten are located in eastern Ohio including Ashtabula,
Columbiana, Coshocton, Guernsey, Holmes, Medina, Muskingum, Stark,
Washington and Wayne counties. Wayne County is largest in the state with over 800
women farm operators.

According to Heather Neikirk, Extension Educator for Agriculture and Natural
Resources for OSU Extension in Stark County, and a member of the East Ohio
Women in Agriculture Conference Planning Team, “Ohio women in agriculture are
paving the way for the future. As extension educators and professionals, it is our
mission to ensure that the next generation is educated, empowered and
encouraged to grow confidence and create crucial connections as they face the
challenges of producing food, fuel and fiber for a global population.”

The conference program features a networking fair, and sixteen breakout
sessions presented by OSU Extension educators, producers and partner agencies.
Sessions are focused around five themes: Finance, Livestock, Special Interest, Food
& Family, and Partner Agencies. A special youth session will also be presented by
the State of Ohio FFA Officer Team for young women participants (high school age).
Youth will then participate in the remaining sessions with their adult counterparts.
Dr. Sereana Howard Dresbach of Dresbach Consulting and daughter, Megan
Dresbach of WD Farms, Inc. will co-deliver a keynote address on “Growing
Confidence, Connections and the Next Generation” of women in agriculture.
Registered participants, community organizations or businesses interested in
sponsorship information, and/or securing a table, should contact the OSU Extension
Carroll County office at 330-627-4310.

Interested individuals can register for the conference on-line at Cost of the conference is $55 for adult
participants and $30 for students. Conference fee includes conference participation,
continental breakfast, lunch and conference handouts. For more information, please
contact the OSU Extension Coshocton County Office at 740-622-2265. Deadline for
registration is Friday, March 18, 2016. You can also find a copy of the registration form here which can be printed and mailed.

Stay connected! Be sure to LIKE the Ohio Women in Agriculture Learning
Network on Facebook or subscribe to the East Ohio Women in Agriculture blog at
Ohio State University Extension provides research and related educational
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