By Lori Tonak
Instructor, South Dakota Center for Farm/Ranch Management
Once again, I was planning on writing an article on the state of financials I have seen this spring, while working on farm/ranch analysis. Not the most fun topic to address! My article topic changed quickly on Saturday, while I was attending and presenting at Women in Blue Jeans in Mitchell, S.D. Why did the topic change? On Saturday, I was surrounded by some wonderful women in agriculture and just felt I had to share some thoughts.
Women in Blue Jeans (WIBJ) is an annual event, held in Mitchell in February. It is designed to give women involved in agriculture a chance to get together and “hang out”, but it is more than that. It is a great blend of learning, entertainment, building friendships, and even a little shopping. Friday night was about relaxing and women reconnecting with each other. Handcrafted brews for sampling, along with a presentation on what it takes to make a great brew, started off the evening. This was followed by chair yoga to teach women how to get exercise for physical and mental agility. Saturday was full of a wide array of learning opportunities. A large variety of sessions from financials and taxes to a discussion on being the first on a scene of a farm accident and how to help the victim. One of the most interesting sessions I attended was on meth and opioid addiction. Katie Pinke, from the Pinke Post and the editor of AgWeek, was the lunch speaker, along with presenting the final session.
So, why was this so remarkable that I wanted to share about the event? What struck me as I participated in the Saturday sessions was that there were women of all ages, sitting together, sharing information, and learning from each other. Some of these women had been engaged in agriculture for decades; others were in their first decade of being involved. In a time where there are women marching for equality, I saw a group of women who have been and will be the backbone of farms and ranches in the state of South Dakota. This was their time to be among like minded women and build relationships. A chance to leave their cares at home and relax with people that understand where they come from. A day to learn a wide variety of information that can be taken back to use on their operation. Rejuvenation after a long year of work-from keeping the books to chasing cattle to running to school activities. If you have never been to WIBJ, I highly recommend it. Mark your calendar for next February and look them up on Facebook. I thank the committee for inviting me to talk about finances and a “hats off” to the ladies for a job well done.
If any producer would like more information on how the South Dakota Center of Farm and Ranch Management can help your operation, contact the SDCFRM office or any of our instructors, call 1-800-684-1969 or email us at [email protected]