AWE Conference Details

2023 awe presentations are now available below! 

We invite you to register for the Ag Women Engage Conference (formally known as the Midwest Women in Agriculture Conference) set to take place February 21st - 23rd, 2023 at the new Terre Haute Convention Center!
We will be engaging Midwestern women in agriculture to address personal, family, and farm issues that affect their lives, their families, and their farm business.
It will be an exciting, in-person event full of speakers, networking, education, and fun!
More details can be found below.

Young Ladies in Agriculture Forum 2023

Young ladies in grades 8-12 or college are invited to participate in the 2023 Young Ladies in Agriculture Forum during the AWE conference in Terre Haute, IN on February 22, 2023. Join us to explore and engage with other young ladies while learning about financial strategies, marketing yourself, and building a strong resume. 

More details can be found below. 


Contact Information

AWE Conference Chair

Elysia Rodgers
(260) 925-2562


Young Ladies in Agriculture Forum Chair

Michele Jones
(765) 342-1010

2023 AG Women Engage Conference Logo Banner Conference February 21-23, 2023  at the Terre Haute Conference Center


Ag Women Engage Conference 

Engaging Midwestern Women in Agriculture

February 21-23, 2023

Terre Haute Convention Center

 Download the conference schedule HERE 



Conference Agenda

2023 Ag Women Engage Conference
Terra Haute Convention Center

800 Wabash Ave, Terre Haute, IN 47807

Conference Fee: $125



Hotel Information
Hilton Garden Inn
750 Wabash Ave, Terre Haute, IN 47807
Group: “Purdue Agriculture Conference”
Use code PWAC23 if booking online
Hotel Rate $159 per night
Reserve your room by: January 21, 2023
February 21, 2023 (Pre-conference)
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM EST

“Becoming the Employer of Choice”—Additional $50 Fee

Becoming the Employer of choice is a human resource management curriculum geared at farm managers/owners looking to improve their human resource management skills. The program format is based on a curriculum of seven modules. It addresses questions such as:  

  • Do you know how to deliver effective feedback? 
  • Do you understand what motivates your employees? 
  • Do you have a vision and can you effectively share it to engage your employees?  

These questions and many others are addressed in the program via hands-on interactive sessions aimed at building skills related to hiring, training, motivation, conflict management, communication, and leadership. Interactive sessions aim to build skills in a wide variety of human resource management topics important to farm business. Learn from other farmers and managers to take home effective and practical approaches to human resource management on farms. 

6:00 PM: Dinner in the area with whoever is in Terre Haute at this time


February 22, 2023
9:00 AM -10:30 AM Registration
10:30 AM Welcome
10:45 AM-12:00 Noon Session 1


1a: Part 1: "New Farmers – Getting started with USDA"   
Angie Stuehrenberg, Public Affairs/ Outreach Coordinator, USDA – Indiana FSA 

USDA is rallying to support urban, suburban and small farm agricultural producers. USDA is investing several key resources to offer a wide variety of programs and services to urban and small farmers to help them get started, expand and improve their operations. This would include a general overview of FSA loan programs and other USDA programs for Urban and Small farms.



1a: Part 2: "Investing 101"

Melissa Stalbaum, Financial Advisor, Equitable Advisors

Do you want to start investing but now sure where to start? Do you have an old 401K you need to move over? Are you self-employed and not sure what retirement options are available to you? This is the place to start. Learn more on investment strategies whether you are self-employed, employed with a 401K or unsure of where to start!


1b: “Mental Health Therapy 101: What to expect, what does it look like, and is it for me?”

Angela Sorg, LMHC, PMH-C, Purdue Extension – DeKalb County

Have you ever wondered what this mental health therapy treatment thing actually is? Is it like in the movies, where I'm laying on a couch? How can a therapist help me, my family, or my friend by simply talking? What is even the process? This light-hearted and practical program will provide an opportunity to explore together what mental health treatment actually looks like.


1c: “Farmland is one of your biggest investments”

Howard Halderman, President of Halderman Real Estate and Farm Management

Learn about the key factors that influence farmland values and rents. Where is this dynamic market headed in 2023?  


1d: “Understanding Google Docs”

Mathias Ingle, ANR Extension Educator in Howard County

Want to learn more about the many different things that you can do with Google? This session will focus on Google Sheets and other apps within the Google Suite to help you get more comfortable using the many tools Google can offer. Participants bringing their own computer to this session is highly encouraged

 12:00 - 1:30 PM Lunch and Keynote Speaker

Keynote Speaker: Brenda Mack

2023 AWE Keynote Speaker Dr. Brenda Mack Standing between 2 grain bins

Dr. Brenda Mack grew up in a farming family in the Red River Valley in Minnesota and is married to a 4th generation small crop producer. She is a clinical social worker who worked as a mental health therapist for over 20 years in a rural community and is currently an associate professor in the Social Work Department at Bemidji State University, located in Bemidji, MN. Dr. Mack is the owner of Brenda Mack DSW consulting and provides on-site and virtual online services. She is an educator, researcher, and scholar who focuses on addressing stress, burnout, collaborative and self-care, and resiliency among farmers, ranchers, their family members, and others associated with the ag-industry. Her goal is to make a positive difference with those who deal with the ups and downs of an ag-related life.


Keynote Session: 

“Bloom Where You’re Planted: Cultivating Wellness, Well-Being, and Resiliency in an Ag-Related Life”

The keynote presentation will focus on building and strengthening resiliency while living an agriculture-related life. Dr. Mack will provide a brief overview of how stress affects our health and well-being. The importance of sustaining healthy relationships and connecting with others to de-stress will be addressed. The session will conclude with practical strategies to increase wellness and well-being that can be used anywhere, anytime!


1:45 PM - 3:00 PM Session 2 

2a:  "Technology Benefits on the Farm”

Valerie Clingerman, Purdue Extension – Knox County      

This presentation will review some farm technologies and benefits you can bring to a farm operation. We will also review some barriers that may exist when initially adopting them, specifically UAV technology. 


2b: “Developing and Sustaining a Resiliency-Focused Self-Care Plan in an Ag-Related Life”

Dr. Brenda Mack, MSW, LICSW

In this session, Dr. Brenda Mack will discuss the necessity of completing the stress cycle and how it impacts our health and well-being. Exploring self-care practices to build resiliency will occur. Participants will learn how to create, modify, and sustain an individualized stress-reduction plan. This is an interactive session, so come prepared to engage in emotionally-focused activities and exercises.


2c: “Climate Smart Agriculture: What is it and why should you care?”

Hans Schmitz, Purdue Extension, Lead Conversation Cropping System Agronomist

Climate Smart Agriculture is a relatively recent trending term in the agricultural community.  This session will cover the basics of climate smart agriculture and how producers and/or landowners can benefit from adopting practices in this realm with some small group discussion.


2d: "Capturing Light: Ways to Brighten Your Online Presence with Photos and Video, Part 1”

Elise Koning, Video Specialist and Special Projects Manager, Hoosier Ag Today

Photography and videography have become a prominent way to communicate online. In this session, we'll discuss and practice techniques that will make your photos and videos stand out. Your best camera is the one you have with you, so bring whatever equipment you have, whether it's a phone or a DSLR.


3:30 PM - 4:15 PM Bonus Sessions

B1: “Food Budgeting and Meal Planning” 

Olivia Morgan, Purdue Extension-Owen County, and Jamie Lowder, Purdue Extension-Owen County

Grocery costs are on the rise and it’s hard to keep up! Food Budgeting & Meal Planning covers finance tracking, how to efficiently and safely meal plan, and how to shop smarter!

B2: “Language of Flowers”

Elysia Rodgers, Purdue Extension-DeKalb County 

We love to give and receive bouquets, but what are the flowers really telling us?  Join Elysia Rodgers, ANR Educator with Purdue Extension, to decode what flowers are saying when they are given.

 B3: “Basics of Yoga”

Kelsie Muller, Purdue Extension-Benton County Health and Human Science Educator

 There are many health benefits from physical activity and specifically a regular yoga practice. Yoga practice is all about paying attention, building awareness, and being mindful of yourself and others.  Knowing where to start can be confusing at times. Mindful breathing, postures- what does it all mean?   Learn where to begin and how to find a practice that is right for you.

5:00 PM - 6:15 PM Session 3

3a: “Is Your Operation Ready for Succession Planning?”

Jenna Nees, Purdue Extension Succession Planning Team

Kelly Heckaman, Purdue Extension Succession Planning Team

Can management responsibilities be shared? What management skills does each person contribute? Is the business profitable enough to support another operator? Who should be allowed to join? These questions will be explored during this interactive session featuring financial feasibility, competitive advantage, financial management checklist, sweat equity, transfer stages and transferring management to the next generation.


3b:  "Are you interested in becoming a Home-Based Vendor (HBV)? Learn the rules, tips for success, and stand design with food safety in mind"

Amanda Deering, Associate Professor, Department of Food Science, Purdue University

This breakout session will help emerging HBVs by learning what products can be sold, how to get products tested, and resources available in the Department of Food Science at Purdue University.  We will also talk about some tips for designing your stand at the Farmers Market to ensure items being sold are safe and not a source of contamination.  This breakout session will be a one stop shop for all of your food safety information!  


3c: "Smart Use, Smart Choice: Choosing Your Medicare Plan"

Elysia Rodgers, Purdue Extension- DeKalb County

With so many Medicare options, it can get confusing trying to choose a plan to fit your needs.  In this session, you will learn about the different Medicare options and how to choose the best coverage for  your healthcare needs. 



3d: “Capturing Light: Ways to Brighten Your Online Presence with Photos and Video, Part 2”

Elise Koning, Video Specialist and Special Projects Manager, Hoosier Ag Today

Photography and videography have become a prominent way to communicate online. In this session, we'll discuss and practice techniques that will make your photos and videos stand out. Your best camera is the one you have with you, so bring whatever equipment you have, whether it's a phone or a DSLR.

6:30 pm dinner
6:45 pm evening program
February 23, 2023
7:30 am - 8:30 am EST registration /breakfast
8:30 AM - 9:00 AM Opening general session
Opening General Session

Introduction of Dr. Henry Quesada: Professor, Assistant Director of Extension & Agriculture and Natural Resources Program Leader


9:15 AM - 10:30 AM Session 4

4a: “Flex Leases”

Ed Farris, ANR Extension Educator in Huntington County

Learn about what a Flex Lease is and how you could benefit from using one


4b:  " Stay Emergency Aware with Indiana PREPared:  Developing an Emergency Response Plan for Your Farm" 

Ed Sheldon, Ag Safety Specialist / Indiana PREPared Project Manager

Shawn Ehlers, Assistant Professor & Indiana PREPared Project Director

This program will highlight the importance of developing a farm emergency plan, and the speaker will discuss step-by-step how to create a personalized plan using Indiana PREPared Farm Emergency Plan template and associated materials. Participants will also be introduced to the expanding array of rural emergency preparedness resources available through Indiana PREPared programs, website, and social media.             


4c: “Understanding Personal and Family Stressors During Farm Transition”

Angela Sorg, LMHC, PMH-C, Purdue Extension – DeKalb County

Monica McConkey is a Rural Mental Health specialist in the state of MN providing mental health counseling to farmers and their families.  Monica has traveled throughout the country virtually and in person, sharing thoughts on mental wellness, resilience, rural mental health, and the unique aspects of farm/ranch stress. Monica has been very gracious to provide her program on Understanding Personal and Family Stressors During Farm Transition and has given permission for Angela Sorg to present. 


4d: "Digital Ready: Making the Most of Your Social Media Presence"

Nicholas Held, Purdue Extension – Spencer County

Kristi Whitacre, Purdue Extension – Vigo County 

Social media, if used effectively, can be a powerful marketing tool as well as a two-way, real-time communication channel with your customers.  Get "Digital Ready" by learning how to choose the right platform(s), develop social media goals and strategies and create engaging content in order to increase customer awareness, retention and, ultimately, sales.        


11:15 AM -12L30 PM Session 5

5a:  "Opportunities and Challenges of Carbon Markets of US Row-Crop Producers"

Nathaniel Thompson, Assistant Professor, Purdue University Depart. of Ag Economics

Emerging opportunities for farmers to receive payments for storing carbon on their farms will be discussed by examining the underlying motivations for these markets, what opportunities markets are currently offering farmers, and what challenges remain in developing successful soil carbon markets.


5b: “City Girls to Farm Wives: Tools of the Trade”

Susan Hayhurst, Author / Speaker

Beth Gormong, Author / Speaker

Seasoned city girls turned farm wives, Susan Hayhurst and Beth Gormong, have earned the ability to share their "TLC Tools of the Trade." From learning how traditional holidays don't always mesh with harvesting fields and white tennis shoes shouldn't be worn in hog barns, to seizing a date night in unusual environments and seeking a farm wife mentor, attendees will discover how to see the humor in everyday farm life while blooming where they are planted. 


5c:  "Employing Youth in Agriculture:  Keep your operation legal and your young workers safe!"

Roger Tormoehlen, Professor – Agriculture and Biological Engineering

Ed Sheldon, Purdue Agricultural Safety & Health

Bill Field, Professor – Extension Safety Specialist

The employment of youth on farms can be rewarding but presents regulatory and liability issues for farm operations. Child labor laws impact the conditions of employment, the tasks youth workers are able to complete at certain ages and specify training requirements. This presentation will highlight those laws and issues and introduce the “Gearing Up for Safety: Production Agriculture Training for Youth” program, a comprehensive curriculum designed to meet the safety and health training needs of young and beginning agricultural workers.


5d: “Running a Successful Farm Business, with or without the Farmers Market”

Janelle Maiocco, CEO of Barn2Door

Joelle Orem, Owner of Orem Farms

Attendance at farmers markets is inconsistent, and 99% of Americans do not regularly attend any markets. Farmers who sell direct, often express a love-hate relationship with farmers markets - loving the customer interactions, but hating the time commitment, costs, and inconsistency. In this presentation, Barn2Door CEO, Janelle Maiocco and Joelle Orem of Orem Farms will showcase the tactics implemented by Farmers to supplement and/or replace their farmers market income including increasing average order sizes (up to 3x) and building more consistent streams of revenue. Note: if you have a direct-to-market business and are not at farmers markets, these trends and tactics still apply to your Farm too!

2:00 PM - 3:00 PM Capnote Speaker 

Capnote Speaker Pam Downing and Team from Larison Media

Join Pam Downing and members of the Larison Media team as they share methods to positively work on social media platforms to share your agriculture story and farm products. 

3:00 PM closing Comments
Safe Travels Home!!

Young Ladies in Agriculture Forum

You are invited to the 2023 Young Ladies in Agriculture Forum!

On Wednesday, February 22, 2023 from 1:00 PM -8:00 PM EST

At the Terre Haute Convention Center, 800 Wabash Ave, Terre Haute, IN 47807

Young ladies in grades 8-12 or college are invited to participate in the conference.

Join us to explore and engage with other young ladies while learning about financial strategies, marketing yourself, and building a strong resume.

The cost to participate is $20.00 per person.




February 22, 2022

Young Ladies in Grades 8-12 & College Welcome!

During the Ag Women Engage Conference

Check-in begins at 1:00 PM EST

Dinner Included!

Topics Include:

  • Financial Strategies for Young Women
  • Networking in the Agriculture World
  • Marketing Yourself
  • Building a Strong Resume

Questions about the forum?  Contact Michele Jones