When it comes to agriculture and agri-business, women can be just as successful as men — and can be valuable partners in farming operations.
Women are a growing demographic in agriculture and small business, and need the resources, tools and education to help them be successful. Women in agriculture and the vital roles they play will be the topic of the “Homefront to Heartland” Conferences this spring across Tennessee, hosted by University of Tennessee Extension.
The workshops are for any Tennessee woman on the farm, on the job, or in the home who can learn more about reducing stress, obtaining funding and a better understanding of labor regulations.
“Women will leave empowered with new knowledge and skills to better manage the challenges they face as they strike a balance between work and family life,” said Chris Sneed, a UT Extension Agent in Blount County, and organizer of the conferences. “Topics are broad enough to impact the entire industry, but specific enough to equip each person with information to change her personal and professional life.”
Among the conference topics, there’s the fun and interactive session known as the “Real Colors Personality Instrument.” Here people improve communication skills and get a better understanding of human behavior by completing a series of questions. This provides insight into your own personality, as well as the personalities of those who live and work around you.
Other topics include labor management, a session designed to explain some of the complex relevant labor laws and corresponding record-keeping requirements. Tools and tips for effective communication with employees, family and others will also be discussed.
A luncheon discussion is also scheduled, titled “Life, Liability and Farm – Understanding your Insurance,” hosted by Tennessee Farm Bureau Insurance. Here participants will learn if they have enough – or perhaps too much – insurance. Other conference topics include information about both federal and private funding opportunities.
“Women are very commonly the bookkeeper and human resource agent on the farm,” said Jane Starnes, a research associate with UT Agricultural Economics. “I hope these workshops provide them with useful and practical information on payroll records, labor regulations and labor communications that will give them the confidence in these roles on the farm.”
One conference will be held in each of the three Extension regions. In the East Region, the conference will be held in Knoxville on March 16 at the UT Extension Eastern Region Office, located at 1801 Downtown West Blvd.
All conferences will be held from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.
You can register in three different ways:
1) Online: www.homefronttoheartland.com
2) Phone: 865-974-7108
3) By check (Payable to UT Extension)
Mail completed registration form with check to: Alice Rhea, UT Extension Eastern Region Office, 1801 Downtown West Blvd., Knoxville, TN 37919.
Also please feel free to contact the UT Extension office in your county for more information.