I found myself lacking in the business planning and record keeping side of our cattle business. While attending the Women in Ag conference, I attended a workshop for Quicken. I am currently setting up my business and I know my record keeping will be much improved. Also, I was provided a multitude of resources and web sites to further my education.
My husband first saw a conference notice in the state newspaper several years ago, and encouraged me to get involved. Since that time I have learned a great deal, and hope that what I have been able to share has helped someone else. ARWIA has provided support groups, information about where to get the needed help and information. The feedback on the break-out sessions at our conferences has been very encouraging -- in most instances the ladies leave the sessions 'wanting more'.
I first became aware of ARWIA in 2007. I am from Atlanta , GA and had moved to Carlisle, AR to marry a rice farmer. I had never been involved with agriculture before, infact I was down right ingorant about it! I need to learn fast! I attended an Annie's Project in Bebee AR in Jan. of 2008 anlong with my step-granddaughter(who was 16). What I learned was amasing and invaulable to me ! Marketing , estate planing, insurance needs, and the oppurtunity to network with other farm women. That March I attendtended my first Arkansas Women in Ag conference, and again learned so much in two days that I was inspired to join the board of directors and help spread the word about this wonderful organization!! I have seen women come to these programs and walk away empowred! What a great thing that is.
This organization has been a tremendous help to me and my husband by giving us resources and information we can use in our row crop farming operation. I completed Annie's Project which was sponsored by Arkansas Women in Argriculture. After each session, I was able to walk out the door with information I used immediately for our farming operation. I learned how to use accounting software adapted for farming, understand grain marketing, understand crop insurance, read a soil sample,and make informed decisions regarding estate planning. Every woman who is actively engaged in farming, owns a farm, or has roots in farming should be a member of this organization. It is truly worth your time. You will learn something!!!
I knew immediately after attending my first ARWIA conference, I was going to become involved with this organization. Not only does it give you access to hands on tools, it allows you to become acquainted and involved with those who are looking for someone in the same position, situation, or has gone through an experience that others might be going through or will go through. It covers almost every aspect of agriculture in ARkansas, and what it has not covered, is in the future conference plans.
Arkansas Women in Agriculture is a great organization. It is still growing and as such, we sometimes have growing pains. But the women who work to keep ARWIA on track and moving forward are wonderful and work together well. I've been involved since the very beginning and it is great to meet new members and see the impact that ARWIA and Annie's Project has on them and their relationships.