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March 1, 2002

Women learn key to keeping farm families together at conference

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Jolene Brown jokes that she's coming to the Midwest Women in Agriculture Conference March 21 with two tools in hand – duct tape and a piece of wood.

"The duct tape is to remind farm families they must listen," says Brown, featured speaker for the conference. "The 2-by-4 is to help them remember the points!"

Brown will talk about the "Top Ten Stupid Things Families Do to Break Up Their Farm Operations" during this first-ever conference, sponsored by Purdue University Extension. The conference will be from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Swan Lake Resort in Plymouth, Ind. Registration for the conference is $50.

Brown will share with participants how they can keep from making the same mistakes over and over again on their farms.

"Farm families falter in several ways which jeopardizes the operation," Brown says. "Farm families are fiercely independent and yet must operate interdependently. They do not always work or communicate well with other family members.

"Secondly, they think if they work hard, their problems will go away. And they also fail to celebrate their self-worth because they don't separate it from their net worth."

During her presentation, Brown will focus on the problems farm families face and offer solutions. She also will provide handouts on conducting productive farm meetings and a contract for communication.

At the beginning of the conference, Brown will start things off on a lighter note with a session called "Who's Hiding the Humor?" This presentation will focus on the importance of a positive attitude on the family farm.

There also will be other break-out sessions. The sessions will focus on topics such as marketing your farm product, land use and neighbor relations, working with your farm lender, and agriculture in the 21st century.

"The Midwest Women in Agriculture Conference is meant to help define the woman's role in making the family farm profitable," says Kelly Easterday, Purdue Extension educator in Kosciusko County. "It will help strengthen the woman's role as she deals with the emotional well-being of the farm family and build a support network among women in agriculture."

For conference information or to register for the event visit http://www.ces.purdue.edu/wia, or contact Easterday at (219) 372-2340.

Writer: Jennifer Doup, 765-494-6682, jdoup@aes.purdue.edu

Sources: Jolene Brown, (319) 643-2429, jolenebrow@aol.com

Kelly Easterday, (219) 372-2340, kelly.easterday@ces.purdue.edu

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; purduenews@purdue.edu


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