Conference Set for Women in Agriculture and Small Business in Nashville on April 29

Event focuses on Women in Agriculture, Agri-Business, Marketing;Registration still open

NASHVILLE, Tenn. ““ Women are a growing demographic in agriculture and small business, and they need the tools and resources to be successful and effective in their efforts to make a living. This will be the focus of a special conference coming later this month to Middle Tennessee.

Organized by University of Tennessee Extension and several partners in agriculture, the “Homefront to Heartland: Empowering Women in Agriculture and Small Business” Conference is set for Friday, April 29, 2011, in Nashville. The site of the meeting is the Scarritt ““ Bennett Center. More information and registration are available online at

Alice Rhea is a woman who makes her living in agriculture as an Area Farm Management Specialist with UT Extension in East Tennessee. Rhea is one of the coordinators of the Homefront to Heartland Conference.

Rhea says, “This conference is focused on providing education that will better prepare women to take care of themselves, their farm or business, and their community.  Strong individuals and families make strong communities and agriculture needs a strong voice.”

The conference seeks to empower women to return to their farm or other business, their community and their family with new confidence, ideas and techniques to help them better manage finances, communication, time and stress. Discussion topics include marketing, financial management, media and computer skills, government relations and nutrition, health and wellness. The conference will also include a panel discussion of business women from across the state, as well as a number of motivational speakers.

Sherry Lay helps her husband operate their 1500 acre Monroe County farm and their Madisonville Feed Store. She attended the previous Homefront to Heartland Conference and says the conference gave her the expanded knowledge base to juggle several important responsibilities. “I learned some good things about record-keeping – what you need to keep and maybe don’t need to keep, and then just your spending,” she says.

Other partners to UT Extension in the Homefront to Heartland Conference include the Tennessee Farm Bureau, the Tennessee Department of Agriculture and the Tennessee Beef Industry Council.

UT Extension operates in each of Tennessee’s 95 counties as the off-campus division of the UT Institute of Agriculture. An educational and outreach organization funded by federal, state and local governments, UT Extension, in cooperation with Tennessee State University, brings research-based information about agriculture, family and consumer sciences, and community development to the people of Tennessee where they live and work.  



Alice Rhea, UT Extension, 865-603-5164,