sealPurdue News

February 28, 2003

Conference to address women's role on farms

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Women have important roles on their family farms, yet may feel their contributions aren't appreciated. That perception is among the topics to be addressed during the upcoming Midwest Women in Agriculture Conference.

Keynote speaker Ron Hanson will talk about "The Unspoken Words of a Farm Family" at the conference on March 11-12 in Plymouth, Ind. Deadline for early registration has been extended to March 7.

"There are women out there who feel underappreciated or worry that their families aren't communicating," said Kelly Easterday, a Purdue Cooperative Extension Service educator in Kosciusko County. "Dr. Hanson's presentation should enable these women to help their families."

Hanson, a professor of agribusiness at the University of Nebraska, has been recognized for teaching excellence and service to farm families. His presentation focuses on things he says are often missing from family discussions, such as words of appreciation and acknowledgment of individual contributions.

Hanson will talk about contributions of farm wives being taken for granted and appreciation for the importance of family relationships in a farm operation. He also will lead a breakout session, "Fence Posts Talking to Each Other," covering the effects of misunderstandings and the stress of farming and how both damage family relationships. He will suggest ways to improve communications, overcome barriers, and how humor and laughter are the best remedies.

Kendra Smiley, a radio talk show host, is the second keynote speaker for the event. She will talk about eliminating stress and improving self-esteem.

Individuals can register for one or both days of the conference. Early registration rates are $25 for March 11, $50 for March 12 or $60 for both days. After March 7, all rates increase by $10. On-site registration is $100. Registration brochures are available online or from Purdue Extension offices throughout Indiana.

Participants must make their own hotel reservations. Rooms are available at Swan Lake Resort by calling (800) 582-7539.

Writer: Kay Hostetler, (765) 494-6682,

Source: Kelly Easterday, (574) 372-2340,

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722; Beth Forbes,;

* To the Purdue News and Photos Page