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Monday
June 24th, 2019

ag women stacy pedersonAg Women of the Heartland keynote speaker Stacy Pederson shares life lessons with those on hand for the conference earlier this month in Garden City. Courtesy photoROBERT PIERCE • Leader & Times

 

Beef Empire Days, Inc. was formed in 1967 to promote and educate people on the merits of beef and the cattle feeding industry. 

Many events have taken place throughout the years since then with the Garden City event, and this year’s celebration, which wrapped up Sunday, included the Ag Women of the Heartland Conference for the fifth year.

The conference took place May 31 and June 1 at the Clarion Inn and Conference Center in Garden City, and among those in attendance was Seward County Farm Bureau County Coordinator Starla Young.

The conference opened with a wine tasting and dinner, followed by keynote speaker Stacy Pederson, who shared some interwoven storytelling and stand up comedy as part of her presentation. Young said she liked what she heard from the speaker.

“She was very good at explaining there’s things we just don’t like doing in life, but we suck it up and do it to get to the other stuff,” she said. “She definitely had to suck it up and do some things she didn’t want to do. The first night, she was explaining to us how a freaky thing as simple as stepping on a rusty nail and several years later, it ended up causing infection and putting her in the hospital and leaving her without work and almost dying. She says, ‘When you almost die twice, that kind of changes how you prioritize things. The kids are important anyways, but the kids are that much more important when there was a chance you weren’t there for them.’ You suck it up and do the chores you don’t like so you can get to the fun stuff.”

Pederson’s Friday performance was called “Dying to Laugh,” and she followed it Saturday morning by giving the audience “The Dirt On Grit – How Digging in Helps Your Flourish.”

Other speakers at the conference included Southwest Kansas Groundwater Management District 3 Assistant Manager Jason Norquest, who gave some wisdom about water usage.

“They’re still trying to figure out ways to borrow the water from where they have an abundance to get it out here where we don’t have as much,” Young said.

Ford County K-State Research and Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources Agent Andrea Burns later spoke about recent updates to the Farm Bill.

“She says a lot of the Farm Bill stuff really didn’t change a lot,” Young said. 

Next to speak was ag tax agent and consultant Kami McDonald, who gave some basics about keeping financial records.

“She covered a lot of the stuff you should be doing anyway if you’re doing books for your taxes,” Young said. “It does make more sense to go in and use a program instead of trying to keep track of everything yourself.”

The conference’s last speaker, farm loan manager Mark Sorenson, gave a similar talk about ag finance.

“It was a lot of the same basic stuff we all got to look at, what the Farm Bill’s going to do, how we need to keep working on conserving the resources we have,” Young said.

Overall, Young liked what she saw during the course of the two-day conference.

“I think it was a good conference,” she said. “They usually do a really good job of covering a variety of things. They’re already getting things planned for next year. Next year, it’s supposed to be May 29 and 30.”

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