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Women in Denim Conference to be held next week

By Staff | Jan 23, 2019



STORM LAKE – The annual Women in Denim Conference, which supports women in agriculture and those who enjoy the rural way of life, will be held Jan. 25 and 26 at the Buena Vista University Forum in Storm Lake.

The 14th annual event “is really for anyone,” according to Gretchen Miller, Women in Denim committee member.

When the conference began in 2005, Miller said it was targeted towards women who were actively involved in farming, a farm partner, landowner or spouse. But through the years, the mission of the conference has changed.

“As the program sort of grew and developed we really realized there were a lot of women out there who aren’t actively involved in farming but live in rural areas,” she said, “and they have benefited from the conference as well.”

Women involved in agriculture will find workshops to sharpen their skills in decision making, leadership, finances and knowledge of agriculture. There are workshops that also support and acknowledge the importance of family, community, leisure time, quality of life and overall wellness.

There conference will feature 20 workshops.

“There is a whole track that does address topics that would be of interest of women that are actively involved in farming and then we also have sessions that address things like communications, family, health, hobbies and other interests,” Miller said.

The conference schedule begins at 3 p.m. Friday with various pre-events including a mini health fair. Attendees have the opportunity to shop from selected vendors during the pre-event. A keynote speaker, Holly Hoffman, is followed by dinner in the Grand Ballroom. Dessert and socializing will finish off the evening.

Saturday will start at 7:45 a.m. with workshops, followed by one large group session in the afternoon. The sessions again cover a broad range of topics relating to women and the many hats they wear in their lives. Lunch and more networking opportunities make Saturday a fun filled day, according to Miller.

“We encourage women to get their friends and come to the conference and just enjoy a weekend kind of away,” she said. “It’s an opportunity to relax, meet new people. There are lots and lots of networking that goes on and women just enjoy learning something new and sharing with others.”

Fee for the conference is $40 which includes the Friday evening keynote speaker and dinner, a variety of sessions to attend on Saturday as well as a noon meal.

“Our goal really being that we provide an opportunity for women to learn something new, but also to kind of relax, enjoy and celebrate as well,” she said. “Our motto has always been, ‘Women in Denim is celebrating women in rural America.'”

To learn more about this year’s conference check out the web site at www.womenindenim.com.

Keynote speaker Holly Hoffman

“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” -Holly Hoffman from Your Winner Within Born and raised in Eureka, South Dakota, Holly Hoffman was the last remaining member of the Espada Tribe and the last woman standing on Season 21 of CBS’ hit reality show “Survivor Nicaragua”. Through that experience, and others throughout her life, Holly was inspired to share her message of positivity, determination and confidence with business leaders, teachers, and students across the nation. A professional motivational speaker and the author of Your Winner Within, Holly acknowledges that life is made up of challenges, and we are oftentimes faced with situations that seem insurmountable. But within each of us is an ability to focus our thoughts, emotions, and energy to succeed-if only we have the knowledge, tools, and discipline to do so. Holly’s writing and speaking not only offer encouragement and optimism but a roadmap for self discovery and spiritual enlightenment. Her methods-the ones she uses everyday in her own life-are intuitive, honest, and adaptable to nearly any situation. Readers and audience members alike walk away inspired to light the fire of successful living within themselves. Today, Holly is a member of the National Speaker’s Association and travels across the country, speaking to schools and universities, healthcare organizations, women’s organizations, community leaders and business professionals. In her seven years of speaking, she has traveled to 36 states and been to 180 high schools. Holly inspires her audiences to take opportunities and focus on attitude, determination, confidence, desire, faith, and perseverance.

Saturday sessions

8:30 – 9:30 am

– Todd Brockshus, Owner and Horticulturist Del’s Garden Center

What’s New?

The last ten years have produced an explosion of new plants. New shrubs, perennials and annual flowers that we could only dream about are now hot items at independent garden stores. Get a peek at some truly remarkable plants that you need to add to your planting schemes.

– Janelle Guericke, Ag Technology Instructor, Mitchel Technical Institute

Record Keeping So Easy

Record keeping doesn’t have to be difficult, in fact when using EasyFarm Record Keeping any one can use it.even Grandma. Participants will see EasyFarm software in action and realize it really is that easy.

– Gretchen Miller, Fresh Cream Market

Painting Refresh

Don’t get rid of the old- revive and renew that out dated furniture and other home decor items with paint. Get the basics on how to tackle a project from preparation to finish. Paint options, tools and techniques will be explored.

– Madeline Schultz, Iowa State University, Carol Ehlers, Human Science and Extension Outreach

Top Ten Ways to Better Family Farm Communication

Family farm conversations range from machinery repair to the 13 year old’s birthday to disease outbreakto Medicare health decisions. Talking about the farm operation is key for farm business success. Experience ten ways women take leadership roles bringing people and information together for good decision making. Hear from Iowa Annie’s Project: Empowering Women in Agriculture and ISU Family Finance education.

  • Mike McLaughlin, Industrial Trainer, ICCC

Be Your Own Handy Woman

A specific ‘how to’ guide on performing common household tasks and repairs and what tools are needed to perform efficiently.

9:45 – 10:45 am

  • Todd Brockshus, Owner and Horticulturist Del’s Garden Center

Decorating for All Seasons with Containers

Celebrating the seasons is one of the fun things about decorating your home and flower pots can be a key element. See how to decorate for all seasons with containers. Learn the elements of design and color and pick up some great outdoor decorating ideas.

– Farm Credit Services of America

Agricultural Women Work Here

Being involved in Agriculture can be challenging but also provide many opportunities. Come learn from and interact with our panel of women at various levels of involvement in the farming industry. Bonus: Get your Farm Credit Services of America Pop Socket when you attend!

– Jill Williams, Registered Dietitian, Diabetes Educator and Certified Lifestyle Coach

Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More than We think

What does your favorite comfort food say about you? Can the size of your plate really influence your appetite? Why do you eat more when you dine with friends? Explore the research of food psychologist, Brian Wansink and expose the hidden dynamics behind your dietary habits. Learn to make more mindful, enjoyable, and healthy choices every day to mindlessly lose instead of gain up to twenty pounds in the coming year!

– Joyce Hoppes, Iowa Pork Producers

All Things Pork

Participants will learn what’s new with porkproducts, cookery, nutrition, and more. And yes there will be sampling. Everyone will go home with coupons for their next pork purchase!

– Dana Miller, Tonic Lush

Make Your Own Natural Cleaning Products

Learn how to make your own all natural, safe and healthy household cleaning products. Get tips and recipes to start saving money and clean toxic free.

11:00 am – 12:00 pm

– Anne Ahmann, Professional Organizer and owner happy.healthy.home

Downsizing: Freed of Excess

Downsizing can be difficult in many ways. This session will focus on how to pare down belongings and deal with the emotions in that process. We will also discuss ways to dispose of excess.

– Steve Spurlock, BVRMC Director of IS/Security+ Information Security Officer

Cyber Security Awareness and How to Protect Yourself

In today’s every growing digital world how can you protect yourself from hackers and identity thieves? Learn simple steps you can take to protect yourself from the damage of identity and information theft.

– Carol Hedberg, EdD

The Girls in the Attic

Have you ever felt that you make decisions based on some quirky perspective in your head? If so, this workshop is for you. Explore insights about what drives women to make healthy and unhealthy decisions and how women can alter the course of their own decision-making. Learn tips to “trust the voice within” in this fun, interactive workshop.

– Holly A. Jensen, Doctor of Nursing Practice, Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner

Healthy Women

Women face distinctive health challenges today. This session will explore those issues by looking at risk factors, healthy lifestyle behaviors, treatment and health promotion. Learn things you can do to be your best.

– Janelle Guericke, Ag Technology Instructor, Mitchel Technical Institute

Grain Marketing for Dummies

Much like the for Dummies series this session will focus on the basics, talk the lingo, and leave with a surprisingly vast amount of grain marketing knowledge. Bring your questions.

1:15 pm – 2:15 pm

– Anne Ahmann, Professional Organizer and owner happy.healthy.home

How to Create and Maintain an Organized Home

This session will focus on the steps to organize and declutter your home and how to implement systems to maintain the order.

– Liesl Voges, Community Development Director, Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs

Travel Iowa

This presentation will highlight the hidden gems in Iowa, from public art in Malvern to Ice House Caves in Decorah. Through the lens of the Iowa Great Places state designation program, learn how urban and rural communities throughout the state are taking action to capitalize upon their unique assets and create great places to live, work, and, most importantly, visit.

– Sewing Enthusiast

Super Simple Sew

A variety of projects will be shown. Get ideas for projects as well as sources for instruction. Fun projects for all levels of sewing skills.

– Janelle Guericke, Ag Technology Instructor, Mitchel Technical Institute

Which Pair of Shoes Should I wear?

Should we sell the grain and just be happy? Store it and buy a put option? Sell it and buy a call option? Store it and pray? We will project high and low prices and calculate and determine which pair of shoes gets you the best price for your corn/commodity.

– Cooking Enthusiasts

Battle of the Pots

The Instant Pot is the new cooking sensation! This session will explore how it works and compare to the trusty Crock Pot.

Saturday large group session speaker

2:20 pm

Rebecca Zoet

This New Old House

Through This New Old House. Zoet mixes the old with the new to tell your home’s story an eclectic style that is uniquely you. Zoet will share ideas and inspirations to add unique character and charm to tell your home’s story. She will share her story of turning a passion into a business and the three missions that have guided her journey.

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