Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Florida Farm Bureau Womens Leadership Conference

Florida--Women farmers are gathering again for a leadership conference. The event, started just five years ago, brings together female farmers, ranchers, media and individuals interested in farming from around the state of Florida for a two and a half day educational and fellowship conference.

Florida Farm Bureau Womens Leadership Conference farm tour 2016,
Belle Glade, Fla. Copyright 2017 By Helen A Lockey

They come together to figure out how to tell their stories through social media, educational book readings to school children and on-farm events. Many if not most are multigenerational farmers and they want to include people in their farming journey.

They want people to know how they came to farm in Florida, what they farm, how they take care of the land they farm, and why they want to continue to farm.

They want people to see that they care about what is going to happen now and in the future of farming. This conference helps them translate their passion into beautiful, supportive  and educational messages.

But there is so much more to this conference like tours of local farms, bonding exercises and inspirational speakers.

I have attended two of these conferences and have learned a lot about female farmers and farms in general here in the state of Florida.  I found the farm tours to be one of the most interesting parts of the conferences. I also felt very welcomed by the women ranchers and farmers each time I attended.

Amy Roloff speaking at the Florida Farm Bureau Womens
Leadership Conference in 2016, Boca Raton, Fla.
Copyright 2017 by Helen A Lockey
Highlights of the 2016 conference held in Boca Raton, Florida, were the Palm Beach County farm tour and first-generation farmer speaker Amy Roloff from the television reality show, "Little People, Big World."

Roloff summed up the sentiment of the whole leadership conference.

"I'm just here to share my insights on being on a farm," Roloff said, adding, "We're big on sharing our farm with other people. It's about building community and making the change about agriculture."

This year's conference is being held in St. Augustine at World Golf Village Renaissance St. Augustine Resort (500 South Legacy Trail, St. Augustine, Fla.) from March 2-4th, 2017.

There are still spots available according to Jason Davison (in a phone call Feb 28, 2017). "We love to have people new to the farming community attend."

You can register online or at the door with a check or cash ($100 made out to Florida Farm Bureau Federation), just be aware that food might not be available with your purchase. But according to Davison they will try and make sure your needs are met.

Unfortunately the hotel is already booked but there is another hotel nearby at exit 323 off Interstate 95, and other hotels at exit 318.

It is worth the time and costs to attend this event especially if you are interested in women farmers and ranchers in the state of Florida and how you might be able to help them get their message out.

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