From doctors to lawyers, business executives and even TV sports anchors, women are becoming leaders in just about every industry in the United States. But, when it comes to the farming industry, women still struggle to work their way to the forefront.
That has begun to change, at least in the Bluegrass, with the help of the Kentucky Farm Women Field Day, which will host its fifth annual event beginning at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 20, at the Louisville Zoo. Women from all across Kentucky who are associated with agriculture will come together for this educational day filled with networking opportunities, discussion panels on agriculture and a free Kentucky Proud meal.
“The idea started in 2007 after returning from a John Deere meeting where the major topic was women as decision makers on the farm,” said Jean-Marie Lawson, vice president of marketing at Hartland Equipment. “This event is seen as a great way to help farm women come together for networking opportunities and offer learning stations as they take on roles as decision makers.”
Hartland Equipment is the chief sponsor of the field day. The Kentucky Farm Bureau, Kentucky Corn Growers Association, Farm Credit Services and Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, among several others, have also contributed sponsorships to help bring this event free of charge to the women who attend.
Hartland Equipment will buy tickets to the Louisville Zoo for the first 300 women who register. With the zoo opening at 10 a.m., all guests of the field day are also invited to visit the zoo for a few hours before the field day begins.
“We’re proud to be having the field day at the zoo for the third year,” Lawson said. “I’m a huge fan of the Louisville Zoo. And this year we will have two camels coming up to the Oasis Tent to visit before dinner. For the ladies that would like to bring their children with them, the Louisville Zoo team and Jefferson County 4-H will have educational activities for the children to enjoy while the ladies participate in the field day.”
This year’s Kentucky Farm Women Field Day will focus on the buy local/buy fresh food movement.
Women will also have the chance to drive John Deere equipment in the Oasis Tent area and explore various stations that will educate them on animal health and nutrition, food preparation and farm safety, how to become involved in Kentucky agriculture organizations and how to have their voice heard in the political arena.
Speakers at the learning stations will include Louisville Metro Council Members Vicki Aubrey Welch and Marianne Butler, media veteran Kirby Adams and Mac Stone of the Kentucky Department of Agriculture.
“This will be my first Farm Women Field Day, and I’m excited to hear about local food sources, cooking, canning and especially understanding my John Deere tractor better,” said Cissy Musselman, vice-chair of Risk Management Services Corporation and founder of Women 4 Women, Inc. “At the end of the day, this is the kind of event that will build toward improving the overall health and economic stability of our families, neighborhoods, communities and the Commonwealth – not to mention the impact on our environment. It’s a vision that promises great rewards.”
Following the tour of stations, women will dine on a free Kentucky Proud meal featuring pork chops from Marksbury Farm Foods, salad and side dishes from Grasshoppers Distribution, cheese from Kenny’s Country Cheese, and cupcakes from Stellar Sweets.
During dinner, two panel discussions will highlight Kentucky Women Agriculture Leaders and the Louisville Farm to Table Program. Among the Kentucky Women Agriculture Leaders on the panel are Ginny Gruelke, Executive Director of the Kentucky Horse Council, Karen Woodrich, State Conservationist of the United States Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources Conservation Service, Sharon Furches, President of the Kentucky Women in Agriculture, Inc., and Corinne Fetter, Director of Expositions at the Kentucky State Fair Board.
The Louisville Farm to Table Program panel will include Sarah Fritschner, Coordinator of the Louisville Farm to Table Program, Todd Clark of Clark Farms and John-Mark Hack, partner of Marksbury Farm Foods. The panels will teach women about the steps of the Farm to Table Program and how they can become better leaders in agriculture.
“The more the women know, the more they can take an active role in the leadership of their operation,” Lawson said. “And as you look across Kentucky agriculture, many women are becoming leaders in many Kentucky agriculture organizations.”
For more information, visit www.hartlandequipment.com/5th-Annual-Kentucky-Farm-Women-Field-Day
Schedule of Events
- Registration at the Oasis Tent entrance: 2 to 3:15 p.m.
- Early bird door prize: 2:30 p.m.
- Exhibits open in the Oasis Tent & Ride and Drive John Deere: 2 p.m.
- Welcome from John Walczak, Executive Director, Louisville Zoo, in the Oasis Tent: 3:30 p.m.
- Rotate through Learning Stations: 4 to 7 p.m.
- *Governmental Relations: How to have your voice matter – Louisville Metro Council Members Vicki Aubrey Welch & Marianne Butler and Joe Cain, Director, National Affairs & Political Education, Kentucky Farm Bureau
- Women’s Health – Kirby Adams, Former Anchor/Reporter, WHAS
- Kentucky Proud – Mac Stone, Director of Agriculture Marketing & Promotion
- Cooking Demonstrations – Alison Smith, Director of Marketing, Kentucky Beef Council
- Animal Health & Nutrition Tips – Carly Guinn, Nutrition & Merchandizing Specialist, Hartland Equipment’s Southern States Louisville Store
- Interactive Exhibits
- Free Kentucky Proud Meal & Program – Kentucky Women Agriculture Leaders & Louisville Farm to Table Program: 7:15 p.m.
Contact writer Ashley Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photos courtesy of Hartland Equipment
Category: Cover Stories
About the Author (Author Profile)
Ashley spends half her time writing stories at The Voice-Tribune office and half her time out on the town conducting interviews, while occasionally dressing in wild outfits to fully immerse herself in the experience (aka Princess Leia at Comic Con). Ashley is a huge UofL fan and loves the Yankees and the Boston Celtics (she is fully aware of the irony). She hopes to one day outshine Erin Andrews on ESPN and enjoys running, Bardstown Road/Fourth Street, Breaking Bad and reality TV (she’s not ashamed to admit that).