Women of Ag Gather in Kearney

Marketing, business planning, and farm policy -- those are just a few of the topics at this year's Women in Agriculture conference in Kearney.

Conference organizers say Nebraska women are looking for more information in those areas as they take on more responsibility in their operations.

"In agriculture more and more women are becoming primary operators of their farm or ranch through being widowed or inheritance or divorce," said Cheryl Griffith, Women in Ag Program Coordinator. "For whatever means they find themselves having to make decisions that they typically may not feel comfortable making."

The Center for Rural Affairs says that women one one third of Nebraska's farmland, and one of the conference speakers says that women play an important role in transitioning those farms and ranches to the next generation.

"My goal is to help families to perpetuate not only their business, but to preserve their family relationships and I believe that the woman is the best place to help nudge that process forward in a positive way," said Dave Specht, Coordinator of Family Business Programs at UNL.

Specht says women are often more aware of the personal relationship implications that can come from not planning business or estate transitions. He says it's important to set expectations for the future of the operation and when transfer will take place.

"On farms and ranches people actually live inside their business and so that emotional tie, that emotional connection to the operation is even stronger," said Specht.

University of Nebraska Extension officials say the conference is also a chance for women to network.

"Women love to network, not just visit and have a good time, which they do have too, but network, gain some relationships, find some people to call on," said Griffith.

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