Ergonomics among topics at Nov. 7-8 women in ag program

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Women in agriculture will learn how to improve farm finances, raise livestock herd numbers and quality, and take better care of themselves at the 2014 Pearls of Production: Women in Agriculture program, Nov. 7-8 at Holiday Inn Express and Suites in Columbia.

The program provides classroom and hands-on training for women who play key roles in Missouri agriculture, said Marcia Shannon, University of Missouri Extension swine specialist. A recent USDA study shows that the number of women-operated farms tripled from 1978 to 2007 and Missouri has the third-highest number of women farm owner-operators in the United States.

Topics on the first day include GMOs in food, meat labeling, medication safety, self-care and challenges of being a female veterinarian. There also will be sessions on food and safety issues including ergonomics for women. Journalist Tyne Morgan of AgDay and U.S. Farm Report is the Friday evening keynote speaker.

Karen Funkenbusch, MU Extension safety specialist, will show female farmers how to choose the proper tools and equipment. Most tools and equipment are designed for men, Funkenbusch said. "Women need to learn to choose the right tool for the right job to be more efficient and effective." She will demonstrate tools and equipment to simplify on-farm tasks.

Topics for the second day's breakout sessions include livestock production, estate planning and farm finances, and forages.

Sponsors include the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, MU Extension and Lincoln University Cooperative Extension.

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