Roanoke, WV - Please note that the WV Women in Agriculture Conference early-bird registration deadline has been extended to November 1st and other registrations will be taken up to November 14th for the inaugural event.

There's a new resource for West Virginia's female farmers and farm service providers - the inaugural Women in Agriculture conference, sponsored by the West Virginia University Extension Service. The conference, Nov. 14-15 at Stonewall Resort in Roanoke, West Virginia, will give female farmers the chance to network, learn farm business marketing and finance "best practices" and improve their leadership skills.

Activities begin with a pre-conference farm tour on Friday, Nov. 14. Visits to several local farms will show participants thriving farm enterprises providing traditional agriculture products, as well as other methods to grow a farm business through agritourism initiatives like community, school and family events. A networking dinner rounds out Friday.

Saturday sessions are divided into four educational tracks - livestock, horticulture, farm finances and farm niches. With more than a dozen sessions ranging from livestock production and liability issues to marketing basics and governmental relations, participants can tailor their conference experience to their specific needs. There will also be age-appropriate activities for youths, age 5-18 on Saturday for $15 per child.

The weekend is designed to give farmers and farm service providers the opportunity to gain valuable insight and skills from local experts with real world experience-and to use that knowledge to build and improve their own farm operation through effective management practices.

There will be an exhibitor hall. Vendor who would like to participate in the exhibition fair would pay a $150, which covers their booth space and two meals. State or non-profit agencies can exhibit at a discounted rate of $35 per person working the booth.

Student farmers and young aspiring youth entrepreneurs are strongly encouraged to attend. FFA and 4-H youth are offered a discounted rate of $20 per student to participant. Youth and disadvantage farmer scholarships are available by request ONLY.

Early bird conference registration runs through Nov.1 and offers discounted rates of $30 for the pre-conference farm tour, $35 for the conference or $55 for both. Registration fees after Nov. 1 are $40 for the pre-conference farm tour, $40 for the conference or $70 for both. The conference registration deadline is Nov. 14.

Lodging is available for an additional $99/night by calling Stonewall Resort at 304-269-7400. Attendees should mention the conference when booking.

To learn more or to register, call your local WVU Extension Service office or the state office at 304-293-6131 or visit wia-conference

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