Wyoming Women in Ag expo slated for this week | TheFencePost.com

Wyoming Women in Ag expo slated for this week

Jennifer Blanke

The Wyoming Women in Ag understand the importance women have in the agriculture industry and made it their mission for women to recognize that role.

The group recognizes the unique interests and needs, along with the importance of building a network of support among women in agriculture.

That's what the Wyoming Women in Ag organized their 23rd Annual Wyoming Women's Ag Symposium for Nov. 10-11 at the Ramkota Hotel in Casper, Wyo.

The symposium has a number of speakers who have experience and expertise in many different aspects of the agriculture industry to help provide women with information they can take and apply directly to their operations.

Karen Budd-Falen will speak about private property rights on Nov. 10. Budd-Falen is an attorney and an owner of the Budd-Falen Law Offices, L.L.C. located in Cheyenne, Wyo. Falen represents private property owners, ranching and farming operations, as well as local governments. Falen grew up a fifth generation rancher in Big Piney, Wyoming on a family owned ranch.

Pat Frolander from Sundance, Wyo. will be providing entertainment after Budd-Falen's presentation. Frolander is the Wyoming Poet Laureate, and will perform her poetry about her life on her and her husband's ranch.

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Greg Peterson, a farmer from Assaria, Kan., and an advocate for the agriculture industry, will be the keynote speaker in the morning of Nov. 11. Petersen is a 2013 Agricultural Communications graduate of Kansas State University and is the oldest brother of the "Peterson Farm Brothers" who are known for making parody music videos of popular songs into agriculture related videos.

The videos made by the trio of brothers are filmed with the intentions of teaching different aspect of the agriculture industry to viewers. The Peterson Farm Brother's website said the group hopes to educate the general public about misconceptions in agriculture, and that they are called to do so. Peterson will be speak at the symposium about using social media as a means of agricultural advocation.

In the afternoon on Nov. 11, there will be panel discussions on recent topics in agriculture and how to resolve controversy while continuing as an advocate for the industry. Scheduled panelists include Jessie Dafoe with Wyoming Ag in the Classroom, Stacia Berry with Wyoming Department of Agriculture and Bobbie Frank with the Wyoming Association of Conservation Districts.

Breakout sessions will be held throughout the day on Nov. 11,and includes Steve True, Velvet Hiser, Kelly Weidenbaugh, Cole Ehmke, Kim Garrett and Barb Saxton as speakers.

True will focus on livestock theft protection while Hiser and Weidenbaugh will discuss warning signs of animal and insect borne illness. Ehmke will discuss how the women can start their own community supported agriculture venture.

In the afternoon, Garrett will provide tips on how women can better prepare their business records and Sexton will present on her experiences on improving her soil on her Colorado ranch, and how the women can make the most out of their own land.

Wyoming Women in Ag president, Traci Faxon, said they normally have anywhere from 80-100 women each year, but estimated about 80 women will attend the 2016 Symposium. Faxon said the symposium is open and geared toward every Wyoming woman, but they mostly see local women within 100 miles come and attend the event.

Faxon was very enthusiastic about the trade show held at the symposium. All vendors who attend are connected to agriculture in some way, and for many it is a second form of income. The committee for symposium enjoys having those connected with agriculture come and present their products at the trade show. "It's just a very good combination," Faxon said. "The ladies attending also absolutely love the gift bags from us too."

The symposium takes about a year to put together, and Faxon and a committee of 10 other women all work together to bring the event to life. This year, the committee has been very excited to have Petersen as well as the other youthful and knowledgeable speakers attending the symposium.❖