The Purdue Extension Midwest Women in Agriculture Conference kicked off on Wednesday in Muncie. Elysia Rodgers, Extension Director from Dekalb County and member of the organizing committee for the conference, says one of the biggest issues facing women in agriculture is the opioid crisis that is crippling rural communities. “We’ve already had a breakout session this morning to talk about what to look for; what those key triggers are.”
Rodgers says that communication and legislative information is also on the agenda. “Communication is key in any operation, and especially in a farming operation working with a spouse or family. Legislative issues as well. Knowing what’s going on, not only within your county, within the state, but also across the U. S. that’s going to affect agriculture.”
Last night, a Young Ladies in Agriculture event for 8th-12th graders was held. The theme was, “Chase your passion, find your purpose.” Ophelia Davis, Ag and Natural Resources Educator in Lawrence County and co-chair of the committee for the Young Ladies in Agriculture Forum said, “We want these young ladies to feel empowered and find their way through agriculture because they are the next generation. They’re the ones that are coming up, influencing future generations, and keeping agriculture moving forward.”
Director of Purdue Extension, Jason Henderson, was the keynote speaker for the conference. He stressed the importance of paying close attention to the markets to look for opportunities. “In the short term is going to be some volatility in the market and that means there’s going to be some pricing opportunities, but also some risk on the downside. So they need to pay attention to the supply and demand fundamentals of agriculture, but also pay attention to monetary policy both in the United States and globally that’s going to lead to international flows of money and shifts in where that money resides globally, whether it goes in and out of commodity markets.”
The Purdue Extension Midwest Women in Agriculture Conference is an annual event held in different parts of the state. This year’s conference concludes on Thursday.