By: Mike Rhodes—
The Horizon Convention Center hosted the 2018 Purdue Extension Midwest Women in Agriculture Conference on February 20-22. Approximately 175 women attended the conference as well as an additional 90 8th-12th graders who attended during the Young Ladies in Agriculture portion of the conference.
Attendees came from Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and Illinois.
Dr. Jason Henderson, a nationally recognized expert in agriculture and rural issues was a keynote speaker for the February 21st luncheon session. He is associate dean in the Purdue University College of Agriculture and director of Purdue Extension.
Kelly Heckaman from Warsaw, IN was the conference chair. According to Kelly, this was the 17th Purdue Extension Midwest Women in Agriculture Conference. Kelly saw a need for the conference 17 years ago, and continues to lead the conference today.
Did you know Indiana Ranks in the Top 10 of All States for the following crops? Corn for grain; Soybeans; Peppermint; Spearmint; Tomatoes; Cantaloupe; Watermelon; and Pumpkins.—Indiana Agricultural Statistics 2016-2017, USDA, NASS Great Lakes Region
“Our conference addresses the needs of women who are part of a farm, own a farm, work on a farm or work in the agricultural industry as a service provider to farm owners or operators,” she said. “Our mission is pretty much the same as it was 17 years ago: to address the emotional well-being of farm women. Farming is a stressful occupation. We want our attendees to have the opportunity to be appreciated, valued and have a good time while they are here. This conference refreshes them. We also try to address the financial needs of the farm. Farming is a business and there are a lot of pieces and parts to it. We try to help educate women on the financial aspects of farming during the conference. It’s a great way for women to ask questions and learn about things they are not really comfortable asking about in a room full of men.”
The conference is held by the Purdue Cooperative Extension Service. The extension service is one of the nation’s largest providers of unbiased scientific research-based information and education. It’s a network of colleges, universities, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, serving communities and counties across America. Every county in Indiana has an extension office, and Delaware County is no exception.
The Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service program areas include:
- Agriculture and Natural Resources
- Health and Human Sciences
- Economic and Community Development
- 4-H Youth Development
Kelly said, “We try and rotate our conference around the state. We originally held our first conference in northern Indiana, but we like to rotate around the state so our members don’t have to drive more than 4 or 5 hours. Muncie is a central location and one of our members recommended we come here. So, we did and its been a great experience. Our conference was wonderful and we really appreciated the hospitality of the employees and staff at The Horizon Convention Center. Anytime we needed something they were always there for us. And even when we didn’t need something, they were still there for us. They were just fabulous! We will definitely be back.”
Centrally located in a thriving downtown atmosphere, Horizon Convention Center connects personalized service and expertise to fulfill your custom convention, wedding, or event needs. Your guests will love the heart of Muncie!