A 2019 conference in the City of Auburn will recognize the contributions of women in agricultural industries and offer them the chance to strengthen their professional networks and enhance their media expertise.

Sponsored by Cayuga Community College, New York AGRI-WOMEN, and a SUNY PIF Grant,

“Cultivating AGvocates: The Central New York Regional Conference for Women” offers a one-stop opportunity for women aspiring to a career in agriculture or already working in the industry

to network and augment their skills with information from sessions covering finances, social media and more.

The conference is scheduled for Feb. 13, 2019, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn in Auburn. There is a $25 registration fee to attend the conference.

The conference is one of the College’s first steps in researching and designing programmatic needs supporting the multimillion-dollar agriculture industry in Cayuga and the surrounding counties. This initiative, partially funded by a SUNY PIF grant, includes the creation of an advisory council, professional development opportunities, and the extensive involvement of local agricultural leaders in determining academic program needs for the local agriculture community.

“Agriculture is one of the leading industries in the Finger Lakes and Central New York regions, and we’re proud to celebrate the industry and the women who help fuel its success,” said Cayuga President Dr. Brian Durant. “Our ‘Cultivating AGvocates’ conference will offer exciting, informative sessions and an opportunity to build and strengthen professional networks to help

women grow their businesses and careers.”

“Cultivating AGvocates” will feature breakout sessions designed to amplify attendees’ business and social media acumen and a panel discussion with women leading local agriculture-related businesses.

The day will kick off with a presentation by Jessica Ziehm, who has previously served as the spokesperson for the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets and as the

executive director of the New York Animal Agriculture Coalition. Her presentation will discuss ways to enhance attendees’ interpersonal skills, helping them promote their businesses and products.

A keynote address by Dr. Christine Allen, entitled “You Can’t Pour from an Empty Cup:

Prioritizing to Maintain a Work-Life Harmony,” will focus on strategies to balance work and life based on individual personalities and priorities, combating stress, and setting boundaries. Allen, a workplace psychologist and executive coach, is the president of Insight Business Works and received the Psychologist of the Year Award in 2008 from the New York State

Psychological Association. She is also an adjunct faculty member in the Psychology Department at Syracuse University and an associate clinical faculty member in the Department of Psychiatry at SUNY Upstate Medical University.

The breakout sessions and panel discussion will focus on a range of topics, including using social media to market a product, developing networking skills, improving financial health and an examination of a project in Guatemala and what it means for women in agriculture-related industries across the world.

Conference presenters include Prison City CEO and Co-Founder Dawn Schulz; Kim Fortin, the owner of 4TinFish Goat Cheese and Fierce … with Love Lingerie; Cornell University’s Mame Ndiaye; Lisa Ford of Cayuga Marketing; and Mariann Fessenden of Tumino Cheese. The conference registration deadline is Feb. 6. To register or for more information, visit https://www.cayuga-cc.edu/agvocates/, email jsmith28@cayuga-cc.edu or call 315-294-1743.