I just returned from Port Huron, MI where I attended the 26th Annual Farm Women’s Symposium and wanted to share what I learned for those who are interested. If you don’t think you are interested then you need to change your mind and read on.
What I learned from FWS (Farm Women’s Symposium) is:
1. There are a lot of good women in agriculture!
2. We are colorful! We learned from Michelle Neff, Clare County MSU extension what color we are and how to communicate with others who are different colors. I decided I would be all four that way I could be whatever you wanted. I am NOT a people pleaser, just accommodating.
3. The silent auction was once again full of great items and we proved the world wrong. A bunch of women can shop and vie for the same item without violence. We save that energy for chasing cows.
4. There are a lot of great women in agriculture!
5. It takes a lot of business to help agriculture survive. There were many who helped sponsor our speakers, meals and snack breaks throughout the three days. Snacks and women are a winning combination.
6. Michigan was not the only state represented. There were women from Kansas, Rhode Island, Indiana, Wisconsin, Nebraska, and Canada. You could always tell the Canadians and the Yuppers because when they said they went out, they went owut. Ya, they did.
7. There are a lot of wonderful women in agriculture!
8. Come heck, high water, or bad weather women know how to adjust and make things happen. Our main speaker Elaine Froese, CSP was stuck out west in the snow storms and high winds. Every attempt – train, car, mind transport was used to try to get her to MI. The leaders in charge of FWS teleported her through the computer and she gave a presentation packed with information concerning farm succession planning and relationships. To whittle it down (and since I can speak from experience) just DO it. And DO it now.
9. Sugar starts out really ugly and dirty. After many steps sugar beets turn beautiful and sweet – kinda like women with make-up.
10. There are a lot of amazing women in agriculture!
11. Food has a lot of beautiful layers. Bologna is wrapped in this beautiful casing.
12. I survived my first blogging panel participation. I was called a few weeks before the symposium and asked if I could take the place of another blogger that had to cancel. The panel would answer questions concerning blogging. “Sure, I can be second pick” I said. The next email requested a short power point presentation about our farm, me and why I blog. “Sure, I can do that even though I’ve never power pointed before” I replied. Crap, this is turning into something where I can’t just fade into the background. But, I survived and thank the good Lord I didn’t fall off the stage. Thank you to Messy Kennedy – Ashley Messing-Kennedy and The Farmer’s Daughter – Amanda Zaluckyj for allowing me to share the spot.
13. Have I mentioned that there are a lot of magnificent women in agriculture?
14. Everyone had a great time, made new friends, learned a lot and was refreshed and ready to go back to the farm. I believe most are planning on attending next year – and I promise I will not be behind a mic, so you are safe.
15. Tim Moffett a dairy based comedian had us holding our sides. I’m pretty sure he was GMO free, organically raised or perhaps free range and gluten free. So, I think we were safe from his exposure. Although he was dairy based so some might have been intolerant to him.
16. In case you missed it before – women in agriculture are brilliant, fantastic and superb. You really should find one and get to know her.
To get more information or connected check out Farm Women Symposium on Face Book.