Regional women to gather at Women in Blue Jeans Conference |

Regional women to gather at Women in Blue Jeans Conference

What’s better than brownies and Diet Coke in the middle of January? Brownies and Diet Coke with a conference full of smart, funny, phenomenal women who are dedicated to enjoying and improving their lives in rural America.

The Seventh Annual Women in Blue Jeans Conference is Jan. 15-17 in Mitchell, SD at the Sherman Center on the campus of Dakota Wesleyan University. You’ll find women who support agriculture, care for their families and build their communities – they do it all. Past conferences have each attracted more than 200 attendees from South Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota and Nebraska.

The Women in Blue Jeans Conference began as a way to bring women together to network, learn and relax in a supportive environment. Subjects of breakout sessions include agribusiness, family finances, cooking, health care, crafts, and making your hair behave. The WIBJ committee strives to find sessions that address concerns of “the whole woman” – not just one facet or one role she plays. Women of all ages and walks of life will find sessions that interest them, and they’ll meet women who will become friends and resources long after the event.

This year’s event kicks off with the Sweet SD Expo and Health Fair on Thursday evening. Ladies can shop for themselves after spending all of December shopping for others. Home based businesses are the featured vendors, and there will be sweet treats at every booth. As a community service project, Women in Blue Jeans has invited Siouxland Community Bloodbank to have a blood drive. January is typically a time when supplies are low, and this drive aims to bolster the available blood supply.

Thursday evening there is also an opportunity to take a drawing class from Corn Palace muralist and DWU art professor Cherie Ramsdell. Seats are first come first serve.

“Thursday night is always really festive,” said Diana Goldammer, president of Women in Blue Jeans, Inc. “Ladies are so excited to have time to themselves to shop, meet new people and reconnect with women they met last year. We’re seeing more and more women who make this a ‘girls’ weekend out’ and are just having a blast at the event.”

Friday’s keynote speaker is Mary Kay Mueller from Omaha, NE. She speaks on self-esteem and the attitude of gratitude. Her curriculums on self-esteem for middle school and high school students are popular nationwide, and she’s made a career out of building people up – no matter their age.

“Mary Kay will convince you that you can take on the world no matter what challenges you face,” said Goldammer. “She makes you see how blessed you are and realize how much you have to share – even when you don’t think you have anything left to give. The ladies are really going to love her.”

Between Friday and Saturday, ladies will select eight sessions that will inspire and educate them. Topics include dealing with teenagers, farm financial ratios, archiving our past, agricultural law, networking and quick cooking. Download a brochure or register online at

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