More than 100 women from across the state gathered in North Charleston October 14-15 for the South Carolina Farm Bureau Federation’s (SCFB) annual Women’s Leadership Conference. The group of women learned how to bridge the knowledge gap those in agriculture face as well as participated in workshops that showcased local agriculture, offered personal development and provided tools to promote agriculture in their counties.
The program opened with keynote speaker Ashley Weston, artist and founder of Hidden Truth Jewelry, who spoke to attendees about remaining positive and hopeful in spite of the hardships they face in life and as farmers. Attendees learned new ways to increase agricultural literacy from Tracy Miskelly, SCFB director of Ag in the Classroom; Amy Dabbs, statewide school and community gardening coordinator; and the Bee Cause Project. Cassidy Evans, SCFB state legislative coordinator, shared ideas on bridging the gap with local government officials. The conference concluded with a tour of the area, including stops at Cypress Gardens, Mepkin Abbey and lunch from West Farm in Berkeley County.
“We are fortunate to have such dedicated women in Farm Bureau,” SCFB President Harry Ott said. “Without their enthusiasm and commitment, SCFB would not have the far-reaching influence it has. So far this year, these women have put in more than 7,000 hours of purpose activities around the state. We are extremely proud of their accomplishments.”
Farm Bureau Women at county, state and national levels coordinate agricultural education and promotional activities. Their work includes supporting important legislation for family farmers, youth programs, educational activities, leadership development and commodity promotions.
“Farm Bureau women work hard to advance agriculture in South Carolina,” said Agricultural Literacy and Women’s Program director, Elizabeth Wood. “Their knowledge of and interest in family farms contributes so much to the organization, as they work for the future success of agriculture in our state.”
Agribusiness is South Carolina’s largest industry, generating nearly $42 billion annually and supporting more than 212,000 jobs each year in the state.