The “Virginia Women in Agriculture” conference, designed to provide educational opportunities for women involved in agriculture and agri-business, will be offered by Virginia Cooperative Extension on Tuesday, March 21, at the Stonewall Jackson Hotel and Conference Center in Staunton, Va., starting at 9 a.m.

“The conference will create new opportunities especially directed to women through education and networking to empower them to be involved in the changing agriculture environment,” said Jim Riddell, director of Extension's Agriculture and Natural Resources program. Riddell is coordinating the conference which is designed to respond to the comments from a survey of more than 400 producers and agri-business operators.

Virginia Cooperative Extension is a part of Virginia Tech's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Sharron Quisenberry, dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, will welcome the approximately 150 women who are farmers, landowners and in agribusiness who are expected to participate in the day-long event. She will speak on "Change and Innovation in Virginia Agriculture: Operating in a New Culture," at the opening session.

Participants will learn about Future Trends, Business Planning, On Farm Sales and Activities: What Can I Do and Am I Covered, and Federal and State Programs. There will be a panel discussion with women producers who will discuss their innovative farm business operations and enterprises.

Cost for the conference is $30, which includes educational materials. Registration deadline is March 10. For more information and to register contact the Virginia Cooperative Extension Albemarle County Office, 460 Stagecoach Road, Charlottesville, VA 22902, or call (434) 872-4580.

Virginia Cooperative Extension provides the research-based educational resources of the land-grant universities, Virginia Tech and Virginia State University, to individuals, families, groups, and organizations especially in the areas of agriculture and natural resources, family and consumer sciences, community viability, and 4-H youth development. A network of on-campus and local Extension educators provide leadership through 107 Extension Offices, six 4-H Educational Centers and 13 Agricultural Research and Extension Centers.