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Pearls of Production: 10 Years of Empowering Women
Missouri Ag Connection - 09/19/2023

Pearls of Production, a one-day event for women producers taught by University of Missouri Extension women specialists, is celebrating its 10th year in 2023. Two events will be held this year, on September 30 and November 4.

Pearls began in 2013 to offer women hands-on training in agriculture production practices. The program is designed to meet the needs of women producers at all levels of experience, from beginners to seasoned farmers.

"With two events in different regions of the state this year, we are hoping to reach a larger audience," said Heather Conrow, MU Extension livestock field specialist. "For some women, it's a struggle to get away from home and the farm to attend an overnight conference, so we're hoping these one-day events closer to their homes will accommodate more women."

The first Pearls of Production event will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, September 30, at Truman State University in Kirksville. Topics covered will include:

• Feeding livestock in a forage shortage

• Internal parasite control

• Practical biosecurity updates for the farm

The second Pearls of Production event will be held from 1-9 p.m. on Saturday, November 4, at the MU Southwest Research, Extension and Education Center in Mount Vernon. Topics covered will include:

• Basic cheese lab

• Sheep production – the FAMACHA system and five-point check for small ruminants

• Elderberry – what you need to know

"We want to meet women where they are by bringing the learning close to their farms," said Reagan Bluel, MU Extension dairy specialist. "Pearls of Production is about helping women who want to get their hands dirty learn how to produce food."

The number of women involved in agriculture in Missouri and across the U.S. continues to increase, and more women own and operate farms and ranches. "Women are also increasingly playing larger roles in livestock production, as nearly half of our country's women-operated farms specialize in livestock production," Conrow said.

Conrow says women offer a unique perspective on agriculture. Through programs like Pearls of Production, they can learn and share new ideas on raising livestock that can benefit one another.

"It's imperative for women producers to learn these skills in a safe, non-stressful environment where they can understand and practice hands-on techniques," she said. "That's what we are happy to provide at Pearls of Production."

Register at https://extension.missouri.edu/events/pearls-of-production-in-the-field. Cost is $40 per event.

For more information, contact Reagan Bluel at BluelRJ@missouri.edu or 417-847-3161.


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