Organizers of the 2009 Manitoba Farm Women’s Conference say they hope a late harvest won’t deter too many women from attending.
This is the 23rd successive year rural and farm women have organized the three-day event, which annually attracts women to hear speakers, attend workshops and network.
Oct. 15 is the early deadline to register for the conference, which runs Nov. 1-3 at Winnipeg’s Greenwood Inn on Wellington Avenue.
“Enrolment has been a bit slow, harvest being a bit late this year,” 2009 conference chair Nina Edbom-Kehler said.
At 37, she’s one of the youngest women to chair the event. Organizers are putting more emphasis on trying to attract a younger crowd, said Edbom-Kehler, an Altona-area resident who’s been to just one conference but grew up seeing her mother directly involved in it.
The conference is an ideal opportunity for a busy woman to take a few days away for herself, said Edbom-Kehler.
“Women tend to never want to treat themselves or do anything for themselves,” she said. “You don’t have to feel guilty about getting away this way, because you’re gathering information to bring back to the farm or your community or your family.”
This year’s lineup of speakers includes CBC Winnipeg’s Janet Stewart, whose address is to focus on the conference theme, Celebrating Life; Raylene Snow, who made a midlife career switch and set up a popular spa in rural Manitoba; Enid Clark, president of the Manitoba Women’s Institute; Jeff Stott, a health worker speaking on work pressures in agriculture and the ensuing mental health issues; and sheep producer Kim Streker, co-owner of a new woollen mill in rural Manitoba.
Select-a-sessions will offer information on computerized bookkeeping, using digital cameras, farm succession and much more, said Edbom-Kehler.
Sponsors have been very supportive again this year, she added.