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Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources

Registration open for the 2017 Women in Agriculture and Small Business Conference

STILLWATER, Okla. – A forward thinking researcher along with a former Miss America turned television co-host will headline the slate of speakers at the 2017 Oklahoma Statewide Women in Agriculture and Small Business Conference set for Aug. 3-4 in Oklahoma City.

Pamela Ronald is a distinguished professor in the Department of Plant Pathology and the Genome Center at the University of California, Davis. Ronald was part of a team of experts who were instrumental in identifying genes in rice that control the grain’s response to infection and tolerance to stress.

The co-author of “Tomorrow’s Table: Organic Farming, Genetics and the Future of Food,” Ronald was named by Grist magazine in 2016 as one of 50 innovators and visionaries who will take the lead in creating a more sustainable future.

Lauren Nelson, who was crowned Miss America 2007, travels the country speaking at women’s conferences and youth retreats.

She also serves as a co-host of Discover Oklahoma and is spokesperson for Comanche County Memorial Hospital in Lawton, Oklahoma. Nelson has co-authored two books with her friend, Robin Marsh.

“This conference draws women from all backgrounds and we’re always trying to bring in interesting speakers who can emphasize commonalities. We believe Dr. Ronald has that kind of unifying message,” said Sara Siems, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension assistant specialist and conference coordinator. “The interest in agritourism is high around Oklahoma and we’re excited to hear about Lauren’s travels around our state.”

The conference will feature four educational tracks: Agricultural production, alternative enterprises, business and finance, and beginning farmer.

There also will be exhibits providing helpful resources designed to enhance attendees’ farming or small business efforts as well as a mini mall, where vendors will be selling Made in Oklahoma products.

Concurrent post-conference workshops on Quicken record-keeping software and the Beef Quality Assurance Program will be offered, as well.

“I consider myself a farmer, not a ‘farm woman,’ so for years I didn’t see the need to attend a conference targeted at women. But, after attending these conferences, I realized there is so much value,” said Karen Eifert-Jones, a farmer near Waukomis, Oklahoma, who also is a member of the conference’s organizing committee. “What is unique about the Women in Ag and Small Business Conference is the camaraderie; the drive to build one another up and the excitement that comes from seeing other women succeeding at their business.”

This long-running annual event is will take place at the Moore Norman Technology Center, 13301 S. Penn Avenue in Oklahoma City.

Registration before Aug. 1 is $50 and $25 for college-aged students and younger, while anyone registering after that date will pay $60 or $35, respectively.

All meals and refreshments are included in the registration fee. There is no additional cost to attend post-conference workshops; however, space is limited.

For more information about the conference or to register for the event, visit

“We work hard to create value so that participants can realize a high return on investment for their time and I think past evaluations reflect that,” Siems said. “This conference has something for everyone so I would encourage anyone with an interest in agriculture or small business to consider attending this event.”


Leilana McKindra
Communications Specialist
Agricultural Communications Services
158 Agriculture North
Oklahoma State University
Stillwater, OK 74078
Phone: 405-744-6792
Fax: 405-744-5739

Oklahoma State University - Stillwater, OK 74078