According to the 2012 U.S.Census of Agriculture, there are 32,167 women farming in Iowa, and 7,108 of those women are considered the principal operator. The 2007 Ag Census showed that 8,452 women were considered the principal operator of a farm in the state.
With such a stark decline in just five years, this year’s Iowa Women in Agriculture conference theme of “Bridging the Gap — It’s Everyone’s Ag” seems to be right on time for the state’s female farmers.
This will be the eighth year IWA has held this conference, and the 2014 edition will be from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, July 27, at the FFA Enrichment Center located on the DMACC Ankeny Campus. There will also be a wine and cheese gathering from 5 to 7 p.m. July 28 at the Courtyard Marriott, located at 2405 SE Creekview Drive in Ankeny.
The conference costs $70 to register and is $90 at the door.
There will be a variety of things covered during the conference, everything from getting a foot in the door in the farming industry to estate planning — which is one of the most talked about issues among farmers currently.
IWA was originally created in 2005 and became a more formal nonprofit organization after 2011. According to its website, “the program’s intent is to identify the unique needs of women who are involved in agricultural production and in agribusiness and to provide the network of resources and expertise necessary to successfully meet those needs.”
To register, you may contact IWA president President Deb Schuler at Smith Land Service Co., (712) 249-4321 or (712) 243-4444 or visitwww.iowawomeninag.org.