University of Maryland Extension

16th Annual MidAtlantic Women in Agriculture Conference

Event Series: 
Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2017 (All day) to Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017 (All day)
Dover Downs Hotel and Casino, Dover DE
Event Type: 

February 8, 2017 - Preconference        1pm - 5pm

 Participants choose between two topics for an inter-active hands on workshop

(A) Yielding Financial Sustainability 
Financial planning and management is essential for the short and long term success of a farm. This workshop will present loan requirements, financial statements and farm planning in order to have a profitable business. Professionals in the area of banking, loans and farm management will share insights into programs available, applications, credit, recordkeeping and resources to make your farm business succeed. Come to this session and expect an interactive afternoon with discussions, tools and skills to be financially sustainable. 

(B) Pollinators - If You Build It, They Will Come 
Small changes have great impacts on your farm to attract and care for local pollinators on your property.   Considerations in the kinds of plants on your farm as well as management practices can improve pollinator habitat, pollination on your farm and community relations. Resources will be provided that will help you identify local pollinators as well as help educate your customers on what they can do to improve their landscapes for pollinators.  Join us for an educational and fun filled session that will end with participants building a bee house or hotel to include in their own garden. 


February 8, 2017 - Harness Racing Reception       6pm - 8pm

Stay Late, Come Early~

Included in the price of the Preconference Ticket OR the Main Conference Ticket you are invited to join us for our Harness Racing Reception.  Appetizers will be provided, with a cash bar available.  The event is free, but please RSVP by purchasing a "free" ticket so that we have enough food for everyone!

February 9, 2o17 - Main Conference     8am - 5pm

Opening Keynote Presentation - Understanding Our Food: Connecting With Consumers

2016 was a big decision-making year for Americans. Not only did we have a presidential election involving more conversations with new voters, emerging technologies, and changing demographics, we also saw more factors influencing Americans’ food decisions.  There is growing national food dialogue, and Americans are hungry for more information about nutrition and the food system.  In order to better connect with consumers, gain consumer insights from the International Food Information Council Foundation’s annual Food and Health Survey.  The Survey, which includes a special focus on understanding the complex array of factors that influence food decisions, provides important insights and trends for agriculture and health professionals, government officials, educators, as well as others who seek to understand and improve the health of all Americans.  Special focus will include the topics of food safety, sustainability, biotechnology, media influence, and trust.

Closing Keynote Presentation - Women In Agriculture - My Nuffield Story: 11 Weeks of World Travel Reviewing Women's Role in Agriculture

At the outset, when I was asked to take on this age old topic, I was somewhat reluctant! I had never allowed my gender be an issue for me and didn’t see that it was an issue for women living and working in ‘modern’ Ireland. I would not be comfortable with being labelled a feminist, as I understood the word! However having investigated the definition of feminism my understanding now is ‘ the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities’ and on that basis I like Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau can live with being called a ‘feminist’.

The aim of my report is to investigate the changing role of women in agriculture, both as active farmers, and supporting the family through income off farm. I researched the different challenges facing family farms, and how family farms ‘need’off farm income due to volatility of income and need to diversify. This has brought additional challenges as the farmer is ‘alone’ and the shared discussion, hands on support and empathy is gone or has vastly reduced.


Breakout Session Topics

  • Let's go live! ~ Michele Walfred and Stacy Hoffman
    Live streaming is taking social media storm, but is it right for your business? This session will look at two of the larger streaming platforms, Facebook and Periscope, and will review equipment techniques and best practices to get you broadcasting like a pro! 

  • Farm Product Labeling Considerations ~ Kim Morgan, PhD
    We will review food product labeling guidelines and resources, addressing specific topics such as traceability issues and how a label may better communicate the value propositions offered by your products to your customers

  • Bugs that Bite: Vector Arthropods and How to Avoid Them ~ Emily Zobel
    Mosquito and ticks are major nuisance pests that vector many diseases.  Their feeding habits can affect your farm's bottom line by detouring the public from visiting and reducing animal health.  They can cost you and your employees’ time and money with doctor visits, and if left untreated many of these vector diseases can lead to long-term chronic health issues and death. Topics covered include: pest biology, common arthropod-borne illnesses, personal prevention, and control methods.

  • How to Measure Return on Investment for Social Media Marketing ~ Larisa Cioaca
    Is all your effort on social media marketing worth it? In this session, you will learn how to identify measurement tools and metrics for your marketing goals, launch a measurement program without busting your budget, and adjust your social media marketing strategy to gain a competitive advantage.

  • Solar Energy Leasing: What Do You Need To Understand About the Legal Issue ~ Paul Goeringer
    Solar energy development brings many welcome opportunities for landowners such as fixed streams of payments over a multi-year period and other benefits. But the agreements are not without risks. This session will cover an overview of the agreements and issues landowners should be aware of signing the agreement.

  • Creating a Farm Marketing ToolKit ~ Kim Rush Lynch
    A marketing kit is an essential tool for any business. Learn how to develop a compelling package to attract your target market and leverage your worth. This session will cover the elements of a successful marketing kit and includes examples to help you develop an effective brand and complementary materials that reflect your unique voice and style.

  • Season Extension: Managing Production Risk and Expanding Markets ~ Neith Little
    This breakout session cover season extension techniques and how they can be used to reduce the risk of climate variability and expand market access by expanding the growing season and enabling specialty crop production.

  • Faith, Family and Frozen Treats ~ Katey Evans 
    The process and planning of starting a new business on a third-generation family farm 

  • Creating a Balance Sheet ~ Cara Sylvester
    Join loan officers from MidAtlantic Farm Credit in an interactive session to develop your personal or farm balance sheet. Learn what items should be included on your balance sheet and where they go, how to value assets, and how to compare one year to the next. Be prepared to create your own balance sheet and get tips to make it stronger. 

  • Farm Safety: Stepping Up to the Plate ~ Jon Moyle and Jenny Rhodes 
    This session will discuss ways to keep you, your family and your employees safe on the farm and how to keep your animals away from harm. 

  • What is Henrietta Homeowner doing to help save the Bay? ~ Jackie Takas 
    Getting tired of agricultural being blamed for our water quality problems?  Confused by all the acronyms – TMDL, WIP and BMP?  This session will present an environmental overview of our watershed and waterways and the legislation aimed at cleaning them up, and offer a look into the some of the other “polluters” and the efforts underway to clean up their acts.  

  • Trees and YOUR Farmstead ~ Dot Abbott 
    Ever wondered what trees are growing next to your home, farmstead or in the woods surrounding those crop fields? How can you tell if they are healthy? Besides environmental values, do they offer an economic opportunity? This session will help you answer these questions and gain a better perspective of the trees on your farm.

  • Grain Marketing 101 ~ Jules Hendrix and Jarrod Miller 
    Grain prices have changed dramatically over the past year. This workshop focuses on grain marketing terminology, marketing resources and tools.  During the session you will review an actual marketing plan and learn how crop insurance, target dates and target prices can help you more consistently secure a good average crop price.  


For more information:

Victoria Corcoran
Contact Email:
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