Women in Ag Conference held in Spearfish Canyon | TSLN.com

Women in Ag Conference held in Spearfish Canyon

Melissa Burke

Photo by Melissa BurkeKeynote speaker Linda Chamberlain encourages women in the audience to be financially independent.

September 24th and 25th marked the dates for the seventh annual Rural Women in Ag Conference, held this year for the first time at the Spearfish Canyon Lodge. The format also changed a bit in that the conference was shorter than in years past.

Thursday evening a preconference workshop was held which focused on communication styles. The women were split up into two groups based on how each one felt she fit a style description (optimistic, helper, etc.). Then these different styles were compared to learn how they might interact.

Following the supper meal of marinated beef tips was a fun night in which attendees had several options to choose from. Chair massages were available, as were sewing and craft projects. A crop and livestock knowledge quiz was offered, with prizes for the winners. Some of the women even hiked to nearby Spearfish Falls.

The next morning, keynote speaker Linda Chamberlain of Homer, AK kicked off the conference with “Arctic Inspirations: Women Creating Economic Opportunities and Personal Success in Rural Communities.”

Chamberlain is herself quite inspirational as she wears so many hats, and wears them well. She is a scientist, an author, a professor, and even a dog musher. An epidemiologist, she specializes in childhood exposure to violence and brain development. She began her presentation with a quote by Mahatma Gandhi which states that “poverty is the worst form of violence.” Of the 1.3 billion people living in poverty, 70 percent are female. Even in the United States, gender inequality still exists. Chamberlain adds that when economic problems abound, child abuse escalates.

She interviewed 50 women who started home-based or small businesses in Alaska, Far East Russia, and northwestern Canada, and wrote a book called Arctic Inspirations featuring their stories. Her objective was to share their experiences with other women. A few lucky women in the conference audience received copies as door prizes.

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The women in Arctic Inspirations have achieved financial independence through self-employment. Many of them are filling a niche in their communities and are doing business in an environmentally conscientious manner. Some have experienced personal losses. All of them were seeking a better quality of life and wanted to do something special to fulfill that desire.

Chamberlain described a few of these women. Carri Thurman of Homer, AK was asked by her employer if she would be as effective in her job after she became pregnant. In response she started Two Sisters Bakery, and now also has a bed and breakfast above the bakery. Amelie Redman – “The Recycling Lady” – of Bethel, Alaska makes necklaces out of cigarette lighters and weaves handbags out of plastic bags. Helen Kinnison of Hay River, Northwest Territories, Canada makes earrings out of Arctic char bones.

These women of the North believe in encouraging others as well. “Go for it” is their philosophy, and Chamberlain agrees. She says that her sled dogs have taught her some lessons about leadership. First is that you can go further with a team than you’ll ever go alone. Next, every position in a team is important. Also, recognize strengths and weaknesses, and determine effectiveness. Lastly, maintain your relationships, as success is built on these.

The second speaker was Cheryl Jacobs, SDSU Extension Educator, with “Social Networking – Making it Work forYour Business.” Jacobs explained that social networking is sharing information with people of like interests. It is a form of citizen journalism, a marketing implement, and a social connector, using the Internet as a vehicle.

Several tools for accomplishing this include Twitter, Facebook, Blogger, and YouTube. Twitter is a language in itself and uses lots of symbols. It is typically short bits of information less than 140 characters long. Facebook can consist of either a page or a group. A page typically signifies an individual, while a group connects people with common interests. It is a way to share news and follow events. Many users are age 35 or older. Blogger, or “blog,” stands for web log. It can be a way to tell one’s story, whether personal or professional. Blogs teach others and can be used to promote something, such as agriculture. YouTube allows a person to broadcast themselves and/or a product or service they wish to advertise. It even allows the use of videos. Like blogging, it educates others and provides information.

Next was a panel discussion based on starting one’s own business. On hand to cover the aspects of funding sources, how to get started, and what to avoid were Dr. John Jackson of Jackson Vineyards, Belle Joli’ Winery in Belle Fourche, SD; Bob Weyrich of the SD Department of Agriculture; and Jim Doolittle, Executive Director of the Black Hills Community Economic Development.

After lunch, Jeanie Votova of the SD Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) addressed the issue of regulations and permits in “SD Environmental Livestock Regulations – Do They Pertain to Your Operation?” In 1972 the Federal Clean Water Act was passed, which regulates pollution from animal feeding operations. Environmental entities such as Waterkeeper Alliance continue to drive these regulations.

By definition, an Animal Feeding Operation (AFO) is an operation in which animals are stabled or confined for 45 days or more in any 12-month period, and there is no vegetation present during the normal growing season. It may be small, medium, or large, but the criteria is the same for small and medium AFO’s in that drainage runs through the confinement area and there is man-made conveyance to surface water. In addition, the small AFO must be a significant contributor of pollutants.

Votova went on to explain the general permit requirements as well as the permit process itself. She added that the DENR may be able to offer funding.

In summary, the goal is to prevent water pollution. All manure and wastewater will be contained and nutrients in the manure used for growing crops. Through record keeping and annual reporting, the producer is accountable for all nutrients generated.

The final session was “Healthy Snacks” by SDSU Extension Educators Laurie Tangen and Leah Burnison. Tangen used test tubes filled with material to represent the fat and/or sugar content of various foods, and showed these to the audience. For many of us it was an eye opener, and I’m afraid that I won’t look at a can of pop the same way again.

Next they asked health-related questions of the participants, with a vegetable peeler prize going to the first correct answer. Then they demonstrated how to make snacks such as trail mix and fruit smoothies. Everyone had an opportunity to taste these, and a bag of trail mix was sent home with each attendee.

It was a beautiful fall day in Spearfish Canyon, and with the shorter conference format we had more time to enjoy the remainder of it.

Making the event possible was the Rural Women Conference Committee, which consisted of six Extension Educators throughout the state plus a number of volunteers. Additional sponsors included Farm Credit Services of America (Pamela McClelland) of Pierre, SD; Farm Service Agency (Gail Gullickson) of Brookings, SD; First Western Bank (Gayle Roth) of Sturgis, SD; Farm Bureau (Mike Held) of Huron, SD; Pioneer Bank & Trust (Jeb Clarkson) of Belle Fourche, SD; Ft. Dodge (Ron Frederick) of Mission, SD; Land O Lakes/Purina Feed (Kris Schobert) of Brandon, SD; and Bentz Equipment of Belle Fourche, SD.

September 24th and 25th marked the dates for the seventh annual Rural Women in Ag Conference, held this year for the first time at the Spearfish Canyon Lodge. The format also changed a bit in that the conference was shorter than in years past.

Thursday evening a preconference workshop was held which focused on communication styles. The women were split up into two groups based on how each one felt she fit a style description (optimistic, helper, etc.). Then these different styles were compared to learn how they might interact.

Following the supper meal of marinated beef tips was a fun night in which attendees had several options to choose from. Chair massages were available, as were sewing and craft projects. A crop and livestock knowledge quiz was offered, with prizes for the winners. Some of the women even hiked to nearby Spearfish Falls.

The next morning, keynote speaker Linda Chamberlain of Homer, AK kicked off the conference with “Arctic Inspirations: Women Creating Economic Opportunities and Personal Success in Rural Communities.”

Chamberlain is herself quite inspirational as she wears so many hats, and wears them well. She is a scientist, an author, a professor, and even a dog musher. An epidemiologist, she specializes in childhood exposure to violence and brain development. She began her presentation with a quote by Mahatma Gandhi which states that “poverty is the worst form of violence.” Of the 1.3 billion people living in poverty, 70 percent are female. Even in the United States, gender inequality still exists. Chamberlain adds that when economic problems abound, child abuse escalates.

She interviewed 50 women who started home-based or small businesses in Alaska, Far East Russia, and northwestern Canada, and wrote a book called Arctic Inspirations featuring their stories. Her objective was to share their experiences with other women. A few lucky women in the conference audience received copies as door prizes.

The women in Arctic Inspirations have achieved financial independence through self-employment. Many of them are filling a niche in their communities and are doing business in an environmentally conscientious manner. Some have experienced personal losses. All of them were seeking a better quality of life and wanted to do something special to fulfill that desire.

Chamberlain described a few of these women. Carri Thurman of Homer, AK was asked by her employer if she would be as effective in her job after she became pregnant. In response she started Two Sisters Bakery, and now also has a bed and breakfast above the bakery. Amelie Redman – “The Recycling Lady” – of Bethel, Alaska makes necklaces out of cigarette lighters and weaves handbags out of plastic bags. Helen Kinnison of Hay River, Northwest Territories, Canada makes earrings out of Arctic char bones.

These women of the North believe in encouraging others as well. “Go for it” is their philosophy, and Chamberlain agrees. She says that her sled dogs have taught her some lessons about leadership. First is that you can go further with a team than you’ll ever go alone. Next, every position in a team is important. Also, recognize strengths and weaknesses, and determine effectiveness. Lastly, maintain your relationships, as success is built on these.

The second speaker was Cheryl Jacobs, SDSU Extension Educator, with “Social Networking – Making it Work forYour Business.” Jacobs explained that social networking is sharing information with people of like interests. It is a form of citizen journalism, a marketing implement, and a social connector, using the Internet as a vehicle.

Several tools for accomplishing this include Twitter, Facebook, Blogger, and YouTube. Twitter is a language in itself and uses lots of symbols. It is typically short bits of information less than 140 characters long. Facebook can consist of either a page or a group. A page typically signifies an individual, while a group connects people with common interests. It is a way to share news and follow events. Many users are age 35 or older. Blogger, or “blog,” stands for web log. It can be a way to tell one’s story, whether personal or professional. Blogs teach others and can be used to promote something, such as agriculture. YouTube allows a person to broadcast themselves and/or a product or service they wish to advertise. It even allows the use of videos. Like blogging, it educates others and provides information.

Next was a panel discussion based on starting one’s own business. On hand to cover the aspects of funding sources, how to get started, and what to avoid were Dr. John Jackson of Jackson Vineyards, Belle Joli’ Winery in Belle Fourche, SD; Bob Weyrich of the SD Department of Agriculture; and Jim Doolittle, Executive Director of the Black Hills Community Economic Development.

After lunch, Jeanie Votova of the SD Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) addressed the issue of regulations and permits in “SD Environmental Livestock Regulations – Do They Pertain to Your Operation?” In 1972 the Federal Clean Water Act was passed, which regulates pollution from animal feeding operations. Environmental entities such as Waterkeeper Alliance continue to drive these regulations.

By definition, an Animal Feeding Operation (AFO) is an operation in which animals are stabled or confined for 45 days or more in any 12-month period, and there is no vegetation present during the normal growing season. It may be small, medium, or large, but the criteria is the same for small and medium AFO’s in that drainage runs through the confinement area and there is man-made conveyance to surface water. In addition, the small AFO must be a significant contributor of pollutants.

Votova went on to explain the general permit requirements as well as the permit process itself. She added that the DENR may be able to offer funding.

In summary, the goal is to prevent water pollution. All manure and wastewater will be contained and nutrients in the manure used for growing crops. Through record keeping and annual reporting, the producer is accountable for all nutrients generated.

The final session was “Healthy Snacks” by SDSU Extension Educators Laurie Tangen and Leah Burnison. Tangen used test tubes filled with material to represent the fat and/or sugar content of various foods, and showed these to the audience. For many of us it was an eye opener, and I’m afraid that I won’t look at a can of pop the same way again.

Next they asked health-related questions of the participants, with a vegetable peeler prize going to the first correct answer. Then they demonstrated how to make snacks such as trail mix and fruit smoothies. Everyone had an opportunity to taste these, and a bag of trail mix was sent home with each attendee.

It was a beautiful fall day in Spearfish Canyon, and with the shorter conference format we had more time to enjoy the remainder of it.

Making the event possible was the Rural Women Conference Committee, which consisted of six Extension Educators throughout the state plus a number of volunteers. Additional sponsors included Farm Credit Services of America (Pamela McClelland) of Pierre, SD; Farm Service Agency (Gail Gullickson) of Brookings, SD; First Western Bank (Gayle Roth) of Sturgis, SD; Farm Bureau (Mike Held) of Huron, SD; Pioneer Bank & Trust (Jeb Clarkson) of Belle Fourche, SD; Ft. Dodge (Ron Frederick) of Mission, SD; Land O Lakes/Purina Feed (Kris Schobert) of Brandon, SD; and Bentz Equipment of Belle Fourche, SD.

September 24th and 25th marked the dates for the seventh annual Rural Women in Ag Conference, held this year for the first time at the Spearfish Canyon Lodge. The format also changed a bit in that the conference was shorter than in years past.

Thursday evening a preconference workshop was held which focused on communication styles. The women were split up into two groups based on how each one felt she fit a style description (optimistic, helper, etc.). Then these different styles were compared to learn how they might interact.

Following the supper meal of marinated beef tips was a fun night in which attendees had several options to choose from. Chair massages were available, as were sewing and craft projects. A crop and livestock knowledge quiz was offered, with prizes for the winners. Some of the women even hiked to nearby Spearfish Falls.

The next morning, keynote speaker Linda Chamberlain of Homer, AK kicked off the conference with “Arctic Inspirations: Women Creating Economic Opportunities and Personal Success in Rural Communities.”

Chamberlain is herself quite inspirational as she wears so many hats, and wears them well. She is a scientist, an author, a professor, and even a dog musher. An epidemiologist, she specializes in childhood exposure to violence and brain development. She began her presentation with a quote by Mahatma Gandhi which states that “poverty is the worst form of violence.” Of the 1.3 billion people living in poverty, 70 percent are female. Even in the United States, gender inequality still exists. Chamberlain adds that when economic problems abound, child abuse escalates.

She interviewed 50 women who started home-based or small businesses in Alaska, Far East Russia, and northwestern Canada, and wrote a book called Arctic Inspirations featuring their stories. Her objective was to share their experiences with other women. A few lucky women in the conference audience received copies as door prizes.

The women in Arctic Inspirations have achieved financial independence through self-employment. Many of them are filling a niche in their communities and are doing business in an environmentally conscientious manner. Some have experienced personal losses. All of them were seeking a better quality of life and wanted to do something special to fulfill that desire.

Chamberlain described a few of these women. Carri Thurman of Homer, AK was asked by her employer if she would be as effective in her job after she became pregnant. In response she started Two Sisters Bakery, and now also has a bed and breakfast above the bakery. Amelie Redman – “The Recycling Lady” – of Bethel, Alaska makes necklaces out of cigarette lighters and weaves handbags out of plastic bags. Helen Kinnison of Hay River, Northwest Territories, Canada makes earrings out of Arctic char bones.

These women of the North believe in encouraging others as well. “Go for it” is their philosophy, and Chamberlain agrees. She says that her sled dogs have taught her some lessons about leadership. First is that you can go further with a team than you’ll ever go alone. Next, every position in a team is important. Also, recognize strengths and weaknesses, and determine effectiveness. Lastly, maintain your relationships, as success is built on these.

The second speaker was Cheryl Jacobs, SDSU Extension Educator, with “Social Networking – Making it Work forYour Business.” Jacobs explained that social networking is sharing information with people of like interests. It is a form of citizen journalism, a marketing implement, and a social connector, using the Internet as a vehicle.

Several tools for accomplishing this include Twitter, Facebook, Blogger, and YouTube. Twitter is a language in itself and uses lots of symbols. It is typically short bits of information less than 140 characters long. Facebook can consist of either a page or a group. A page typically signifies an individual, while a group connects people with common interests. It is a way to share news and follow events. Many users are age 35 or older. Blogger, or “blog,” stands for web log. It can be a way to tell one’s story, whether personal or professional. Blogs teach others and can be used to promote something, such as agriculture. YouTube allows a person to broadcast themselves and/or a product or service they wish to advertise. It even allows the use of videos. Like blogging, it educates others and provides information.

Next was a panel discussion based on starting one’s own business. On hand to cover the aspects of funding sources, how to get started, and what to avoid were Dr. John Jackson of Jackson Vineyards, Belle Joli’ Winery in Belle Fourche, SD; Bob Weyrich of the SD Department of Agriculture; and Jim Doolittle, Executive Director of the Black Hills Community Economic Development.

After lunch, Jeanie Votova of the SD Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) addressed the issue of regulations and permits in “SD Environmental Livestock Regulations – Do They Pertain to Your Operation?” In 1972 the Federal Clean Water Act was passed, which regulates pollution from animal feeding operations. Environmental entities such as Waterkeeper Alliance continue to drive these regulations.

By definition, an Animal Feeding Operation (AFO) is an operation in which animals are stabled or confined for 45 days or more in any 12-month period, and there is no vegetation present during the normal growing season. It may be small, medium, or large, but the criteria is the same for small and medium AFO’s in that drainage runs through the confinement area and there is man-made conveyance to surface water. In addition, the small AFO must be a significant contributor of pollutants.

Votova went on to explain the general permit requirements as well as the permit process itself. She added that the DENR may be able to offer funding.

In summary, the goal is to prevent water pollution. All manure and wastewater will be contained and nutrients in the manure used for growing crops. Through record keeping and annual reporting, the producer is accountable for all nutrients generated.

The final session was “Healthy Snacks” by SDSU Extension Educators Laurie Tangen and Leah Burnison. Tangen used test tubes filled with material to represent the fat and/or sugar content of various foods, and showed these to the audience. For many of us it was an eye opener, and I’m afraid that I won’t look at a can of pop the same way again.

Next they asked health-related questions of the participants, with a vegetable peeler prize going to the first correct answer. Then they demonstrated how to make snacks such as trail mix and fruit smoothies. Everyone had an opportunity to taste these, and a bag of trail mix was sent home with each attendee.

It was a beautiful fall day in Spearfish Canyon, and with the shorter conference format we had more time to enjoy the remainder of it.

Making the event possible was the Rural Women Conference Committee, which consisted of six Extension Educators throughout the state plus a number of volunteers. Additional sponsors included Farm Credit Services of America (Pamela McClelland) of Pierre, SD; Farm Service Agency (Gail Gullickson) of Brookings, SD; First Western Bank (Gayle Roth) of Sturgis, SD; Farm Bureau (Mike Held) of Huron, SD; Pioneer Bank & Trust (Jeb Clarkson) of Belle Fourche, SD; Ft. Dodge (Ron Frederick) of Mission, SD; Land O Lakes/Purina Feed (Kris Schobert) of Brandon, SD; and Bentz Equipment of Belle Fourche, SD.