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 1,500 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 adjust your spending,” she says.

The conference will also include discussion about the current state of agriculture in Tennessee, and how women can become more involved at the local, state and federal level to encourage positive outcomes for the industry. The speaker on this topic will be Rhedona Rose, executive vice-president of the Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation.

Rose says, "This conference is designed specifically for women to inform and motivate you to engage and discover your influence in your family, career and community."

Peggy Howell, speech pathologist and wife of east Tennessee dairy farmer Bill Howell, says “It is many times the woman who takes on the role of educating the public about agriculture, helping to debunk the many myths about animal agriculture.”

Howell also says it is not just the women on the farm who make a difference in Tennessee Agriculture. “There are many ‘farmers’ daughters’ who have found a place in agriculture, perhaps not on the farm, but in positions in which they strive to help the industry every day. It is the love for agriculture that brings us all together, whether we are on the farm or in an office somewhere helping farmers.”

She says the conference will help strengthen Tennessee agriculture by strengthening the women who work so tirelessly day in and day out to support the future of Tennessee agriculture.

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.