Aiken, SC – Lexington County residents Catherine Porth, Frances Price, Evelyn Shumpert and Barbara Leaphart were among the nearly 80 women from across the state gathered in Aiken October 1-2 for the South Carolina Farm Bureau Federation’s (SCFB) annual Women’s Leadership Conference. The group of women learned what makes agriculture “sparkle” as they gathered in Aiken this week. They participated in workshops that showcased local agriculture, offered personal development and provided tools to promote agriculture in their counties.
The program opened with keynote speaker Jane Jenkins Herlong, best-selling author and humorist, who inspired the attendees to be enthusiastic and proud advocates for their causes. Nicole Yon, farm wife and ‘Farm to Label’ blogger, gave out recipes and discussed ways to make home-cooked, Southern recipes with healthier ingredients. Darla Steele, horticulture specialist and craft expert, worked hands-on with participants to make holiday wreaths. Stephanie Sox, SCFB Promotion and Education Division director, gave attendees the tools to take agriculture into the classrooms of local schools. The Monday evening banquet entertainment featured the ‘sparkle’ of Heart of Columbia Choir’s Sweet Adelines. The conference concluded with a tour of the area, including the National Wild Turkey Federation Museum and Cooks Roadside Market.
“We are fortunate to have such dedicated women in Farm Bureau,” SCFB President Harry Ott said. “Without their enthusiasm and commitment, SCFB would not have the far-reaching influence it has. So far this year, these women have put in more than 7,000 hours of purpose activities around the state. We are extremely proud of their accomplishments.”
Farm Bureau Women at county, state and national levels coordinate agricultural education and promotional activities. Their work includes supporting important legislation for family farmers, youth programs, educational activities, leadership development and commodity promotions.
“Farm Bureau women work hard to advance agriculture in South Carolina,” said Agricultural Literacy and Women’s Program director, Elizabeth Wood. “Their knowledge of and interest in family farms contributes so much to the organization, as they work for the future success of agriculture in our state.”
Agribusiness is South Carolina’s largest industry, generating nearly $42 billion annually and supporting more than 212,000 jobs each year in the state.
The SCFB Women’s Leadership Program works through the organization’s volunteers to tell the farm story through education and advocacy with children and youth. The SCFB Women’s Leadership program is one of many purpose activities sponsored by the South Carolina Farm Bureau Federation. SCFB is a grassroots, non-profit organization that celebrates and supports family farmers, locally grown food and our rural lands through legislative advocacy, education and community outreach. The organization, founded in 1944, serves more than 100,000 member families in 47 chapters. For more information, please visit www.scfb.org.