Three interactive events highlight opportunities for women in agriculture, agri-business


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – When it comes to agriculture and agri-business, women can be just as successful as men – and can be valuable partners in farming operations.
Women are a growing demographic in agriculture and small business, and need the resources, tools and education to help them be successful. Women in agriculture and the vital roles they play will be the topic of the “Homefront to Heartland” Conferences this spring across Tennessee, hosted by University of Tennessee Extension. These workshops are for any Tennessee woman on the farm, on the job, or in the home who wants to learn more about reducing stress or obtaining funding and who wants to gain a better understanding of labor regulations.
One conference will be held in each of the region of the state:
Knoxville, March 16, 2013
UT Extension Eastern Region Office
1801 Downtown West Blvd.
Knoxville, TN  37919
Murfreesboro, April 13, 2013
UT Extension – Rutherford County Extension Office
315 John Rice Blvd.
Murfreesboro, TN  37129-4105
Jackson, May 4, 2013
UT West Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center
605 Airways Blvd.   
Jackson, TN  38301-3201
All conferences will be held from 8:30 to 4:30 local time.
How to register?
2). Phone: 865-974-7108
3). By check (Payable to UT Extension)
            Mail completed registration form with check to:
            Alice Rhea
            UT Extension Eastern Region Office
            1801 Downtown West Blvd.
            Knoxville, TN  37919
Also please feel free to contact the UT Extension office in your county for more information.
“Women will leave empowered with new knowledge and skills to better manage the challenges they face as they strike a balance between work and family life,” says Chris Sneed, a UT Extension Agent in Blount County, and organizer of the conferences. “Topics are broad enough to impact the entire industry, but specific enough to equip each person with information to change her personal and professional life,” Sneed says.
Among the conference topics, there’s the fun and interactive session known as the “Real Colors Personality Instrument.” Here people improve communication skills and get a better understanding of human behavior by completing a series of questions. This provides insight into your own personality, as well as the personalities of those who live and work around you.  
Other topics include labor management, a session designed to explain some of the complex relevant labor laws and corresponding record-keeping requirements. Tools and tips for effective communication with employees, family and others will also be discussed.
A luncheon discussion is also scheduled, titled “Life, Liability and Farm – Understanding Your Insurance,” hosted by Tennessee Farm Bureau Insurance. Here participants will learn if they have enough – or perhaps too much – insurance. Other conference topics include information about both federal and private funding opportunities.
“Women are very commonly the bookkeeper and human resource agent on the farm,” says Jane Starnes, a Research Associate with UT Agricultural and Resource Economics. “I hope these workshops provide them with useful and practical information on payroll records, labor regulations and labor communications that will give them the confidence in these roles on the farm,” she says.
UT Extension provides a gateway to the University of Tennessee as the outreach unit of the Institute of Agriculture. With an office in every Tennessee county, UT Extension delivers educational programs and research-based information to citizens throughout the state. In cooperation with Tennessee State University, UT Extension works with farmers, families, youth and communities to improve lives by addressing problems and issues at the local, state and national levels.

Chris Sneed, 865-982-6430,

Alice Rhea, 865-200-4527,

Jane Starnes, 865-974-0414,