MANHATTAN, Kan. - For some, it's a childhood goal to grow up to farm the land. To others, it's a matter of parents' dying and leaving land to a daughter.

There are many ways women come to be farmers, according to Dana Hoffman with the Kansas Association of Wheat Growers. But one thing's for sure: The number of women managing farms in Kansas is rising.

To aid those women who are helping to grow the nation's food supply -- whether by design, inheritance or the death of a spouse -- Hoffman and others have put together a workshop, "Women Managing the Farm," slated for Feb. 17-18 in Wichita.

Partnership funding of $115,000 to develop the workshop came from the USDA's Risk Management Agency.

Hoffman, who is KAWG's producer policy specialist, worked to develop the program with Charlie Griffin, director of Kansas State University's Family Center Programs for Workplace Solutions; Kristy Archuleta, also of Workplace Solutions; and Charlotte Shoup Olsen, family systems specialist with K-State Research and Extension.

"We're trying to build momentum from last year's conferences," said Hoffman, who with K-State coordinated a series of "Women in Farming" meetings in 2005.

Over the 1-1/2 days of the conference, presentations regarding business planning, managing employees and more will be interspersed with opportunities for networking and learning from others attending the conference, Hoffman said.

Some of the USDA funding will charter buses, so that participants who live far from Wichita can meet at certain points and travel together.

More information on "Women Managing the Farm" is available by calling the Kansas Rural Family Helpline at 1-866-327-6578 or e-mailing farmksu@humec.ksu.edu or on the Web, click on Women Managing the Farm Conference 2005.



SOURCE: Kansas State University news release.