It’s The Possibilities ~ Women in Ag Conference 2014

I spent last Thursday and Friday at the South Dakota Women in Ag Conference. This year the event was held at Terra Sancta Retreat Center.

Our meeting room was welcoming and beautifully decorated. The breeze way outside the meeting room was host to several local South Dakota vender booths. These gals were selling rope art, western art, mixed media art, jewelry, purses, pottery and goat milk products. The Women In Ag (WIA) committee members also had a booth selling bling hats and turquoise scarves. It was a great way for ladies to mingle and shop.

October 7

Our first speaker was Gerald Stokka, DVM, from North Dakota State University. Dr. Stokka’s presentation was titled Stewardship: A Philosophy of Life, Culture and Business. He took the dictionary definition of stewardship one step further by sharing his idea of what we need to do in agriculture to maintain our lifestyle, preserve our rural culture and remain a sustainable business. Dr. Stokka is passionate about sharing the fact that farmers and ranchers are doing our part to feed the world by caring for animals through responsible resource management and prudent use of technology. He also encouraged us to think about re-engaging in the discipline of animal husbandry and philosophy, in addition to animal science. Dr. Stokka emphasized that producers need to articulate the purpose of what we do, engage with each other as well as non-ag consumers.

October 7

Sally Amtmann, Senior Area Business Manager at Zoetis, did a training on DiSC. DiSC is a study of behavior styles. Conference participants completed a personal assessment by thinking about and choosing the word that most and least describes themselves. After tallying up the results we were assigned a personality profile: D-dominance, I-influencing, S-steadiness or C-conscientiousness. As a group we discussed strengths and weaknesses of each behavior and how to relate and adapt to people with each profile.

October 7

Thursday evening was all about fun and creative learning. Ranch and Farm Wives enjoyed wine and chocolate tasting and/or an ice cream social. “Love Bundles” were put together as a pay-it-forward project. The bundles included basic toiletries that will be distributed to local woman’s shelters. Many ladies enjoyed a relaxation massage and had the opportunity to make a 15 minute table runner. Back by popular demand was Design Your Own Jewelry. The gals from Shaviq brought all kinds of beads and stones for making jewelry. Jodene Shaw did a multi-media art class titled “Note to Self. This is the activity I participated in. We used modge podge and a variety of art supplies to make a personalized inspirational art piece.

October 7

John Beranek was our Friday afternoon speaker. In John’s session we talked about the challenges of being a farm/ranch wife and women involved in agriculture. We did a lot of small group work discussing what “dragons” we have in our lives and how best to tactfully sleigh them. Ag women discussing “Fighting the Invisible Dragon” is one inspirational experience.

October 7

Each WIA conference I attend is a learning experience, a chance to exchange ideas and a time of personal growth. Women involved in agriculture are a passionate and inspiring group of people. The WIA committee members do a great job of putting on this conference and pampering attendees with good food, fun activities and door prizes.

October 7

The above picture is of the gals from my County that attended WIA. Unfortunately, we are missing a couple girls that should have been in this picture. I have to extend a thank you as many of  these gals are followers of this blog and I always enjoy seeing and visiting with them in person.

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17 Responses to It’s The Possibilities ~ Women in Ag Conference 2014

  1. Darcy says:

    What a neat experience! I don’t know if we have something like that in Oregon, but I need to look into it. 🙂 So glad you got to enjoy some time at the conference!

    • Robyn says:

      You do need to look into this, Darcy. I think it would be something you would love. Woman passionate about agriculture exchanging experiences, having fun and sharing ideas is an inspirational experience.

  2. Sounds like a great conference! Glad to hear that Dr. Stokka was a presenter. Kuddos to you for taking time out of your busy life to attend.


    • Robyn says:


      This conference is one of the best things I do for myself all year. I always learn a lot, have fun and am inspired by passionate women that have similar interests as me.

      Dr. Stokka mentioned that you are one of our leading ladies in agriculture and used a couple of quotes from you. His presentation was informational and interesting.

  3. J. Rhoades says:

    Sounds like so much fun!

  4. Cheri says:

    That sounded like a fun and interesting meeting..
    The disc sounds so neat….especially when working with all men here!
    Ahhhhh, the massage! I hope you indulged in that! I know I would have. 🙂

    • Robyn says:

      DiSC is interesting. This is the second time I’ve done a training. I had to take an assessment when I was hired at Cargill Meat Solutions. I worked for Cargill after I graduated from college. I had similar results as the first time.

      I think couples should take this assessment before they get married. It explains so much about our behavior and how we can better communicate with each other.

      The masseuse was overbooked and I didn’t get one. The good news is she has a business set up in our local small town. I will get a massage one of these days.

  5. Laurie says:

    Looks like you had a wonderful time Robyn! I love seeing what other states do for their women farmers.
    Laurie – Country Link

    • Robyn says:

      Thanks Laurie. The WIA committee does a great job finding good speakers. The hands on breakout sessions make for a wonderful environment sharing ideas and networking in the process.

      Does Missouri have a similar conference?

      • Laurie says:

        Well, I think so Robyn. I found a facebook page for Missouri Women in Agriculture and it looks like they recently had a conference, but I have never heard of there being a group. How did you become involved?

  6. Kim says:

    It looks like a full weekend, with lots of information AND fellowship shared. I’m glad there wasn’t a blizzard for you this year!

  7. I would have loved to come! I didn’t get back in time from our Nashville trip. That was and is a story in and of itself thanks to the Chicago Fiasco.

    I love Sally Amtmann! She and her husband are good people!

    • Robyn says:

      By the looks of your facebook pictures Nashville was a fun trip. Looking forward to a blog post.

      WIA is a great conference and I recommend it to anyone passionate about agriculture, life long learning and networking with women that have similar interests. It really is inspiring to be in a room full of ranch/farm wives. I catch myself thinking “I’m not the only one” more and more.

      Sally did a wonderful job with the DiSC training. She is very personable.

      • It’s such a small world- Sally has been following my FB posts since the Legacy in 2012, and we met at the Buck Brannaman Clinic in May. We’ve had supper and I’ve run into them at various other events. I just love her. She’s so fun!

        Please let me know about the conference next year, because I’d sure like to go!

        And yes, Nashville WAS AWESOME!

  8. Bonnie says:

    I’m going to see if my sister and my mom can get information on this. I think they would love it. Where could they get more information?

  9. lisa harpster says:

    I should go to this…next year!

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