Registration open for Power of Women as AgVocates Conference

Keynote speakers for the Power of Women as AgVocates Conference are Marianne Smith Edge, left, and Audra Mulkern.

South Dakota State University Extension invites women in agriculture to a female-empowered event and the opportunity to network, learn and grow with peers across the state.

The Power of Women as AgVocates Conference will be held Jan. 14-15 at the Casey Tibbs Rodeo Center and Museum and the AmericInn Lodge and Suites in Fort Pierre.

“This conference is designed for women to learn about the power of advocating for you, your family, business and industry,” says Robin Salverson, SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialist.

Keynote speakers for the event are Marianne Smith Edge and Audra Mulkern.

Edge is a sixth-generation farm owner and the founder of AgriNutrition Edge. She is polished in national-level affairs with government, industry, academia and allied health groups. Experienced in the food policy arena and steeped in consumer insight, Edge will share how women in agriculture can agvocate for the industry as the kickoff keynote speaker and later in the program when she focuses on communication.

Mulkern is a 2019 James Beard finalist, writer, photographer and international speaker who is changing the way consumers look at farming and the people who grow food. She is the founder of “The Female Farmer Project,” a multi-platform documentary project that chronicles the rise of women working in agriculture around the world. From in-depth stories, personal essays, photographic portraits, a podcast and in-development documentary film — the project gives a powerful voice to the fastest-growing demographic in agriculture — the female farmer.

Below is the full schedule for the two-day event:

Friday, Jan. 14

1 to 5 p.m. CST — Women on the Range: Mini Winter Workshop

Enjoy time learning from other women at Prairie Paradise Farms near Fort Pierre about range management before joining everyone at The Power of Women as AgVocates Conference. Cost to attend the field tour is $20. Register for the workshop by going to The Power of Women as AgVocates Conference registration link and selecting Women on the Range: Mini Winter Workshop. More information will be shared once registered.

The Power of Women as AgVocates Conference

Casey Tibbs Rodeo Center and Museum, 210 Verendrye Drive, Fort Pierre

6 p.m. CST — Registration, socializing, browsing the museum and hors d'oeuvres

7 p.m. — Evening program

Welcome and Story — Gloria Hanson, Mayor of Fort Pierre

Mayor Hanson has an amazing storytelling gift along with the ability to lead her community with both her heart and her head.

The Power of Understanding, Climate Policy – Laura Edwards, SDSU Extension Climatologist

Saturday, Jan. 15

AmericInn, 312 Island Drive, Fort Pierre

7:30 a.m. CST — Registration

8 a.m. to 4 p.m.— Conference

The Power of Dialogue, Understanding Policy and Consumer Insight – Marianne Smith Edge

Women involved in agriculture can be powerful communicators for their business and industry. Understanding of national policy and consumer insight in an industry that is complex and influenced beyond the borders of South Dakota will help producers “be on the offense, not the defense” when having a conversation about agriculture.

The Power of Understanding Ag Issues – Senator Mary Duvall

Understanding and responding to agricultural issues is critical to stay viable within your agriculture business. This conversation will include issues in the 2022 South Dakota legislative session that will affect agriculture and rural South Dakotans, as well as the impact of being an election year.

Powerful AgVocating: Tips and Tricks for Telling Our Story – Jaelyn Quintana, SDSU Extension Sheep Field Specialist

How many times in agriculture do we hear that we need to do a better job telling our story? Advocating for our industry is something that we are all passionate about, but don’t always know the best way to do it. Come learn some tips and tricks to effectively tell your story and ways to combat some of the current targets on agriculture.

The Power of Celebrating Women in Agriculture – Audra Mulkern

Mulkern will share a powerful ending to the conference. She will celebrate your involvement in agriculture, inspire you and call you to action.

The Power of Mindfullness – Lorna Saboe Wounded Head, SDSU Extension Family Resource Management Field Specialist

Stress management and mindfulness activities will be implemented throughout the conference. The intent is to demonstrate simple ways to address mental health wellness to agvocate for yourself. Mental health resources will be provided by SDSU Extension.

To cover costs, the registration fee for this conference is $75. To register and for more information on hotels, please visit the SDSU Extension Events page. Registration deadline is Jan. 7.