Women in Denim Conference to be held next week

STORM LAKE — The annual Women in Denim Conference, which supports women in agriculture and those who enjoy the rural way of life, will be held Jan. 25 and 26 at the Buena Vista University Forum in Storm Lake.

The 14th annual event “is really for anyone,” according to Gretchen Miller, Women in Denim committee member.

When the conference began in 2005, Miller said it was targeted towards women who were actively involved in farming, a farm partner, landowner or spouse. But through the years, the mission of the conference has changed.

“As the program sort of grew and developed we really realized there were a lot of women out there who aren’t actively involved in farming but live in rural areas,” she said, “and they have benefited from the conference as well.”

Women involved in agriculture will find workshops to sharpen their skills in decision making, leadership, finances and knowledge of agriculture. There are workshops that also support and acknowledge the importance of family, community, leisure time, quality of life and overall wellness.

There conference will feature 20 workshops.

“There is a whole track that does address topics that would be of interest of women that are actively involved in farming and then we also have sessions that address things like communications, family, health, hobbies and other interests,” Miller said.

The conference schedule begins at 3 p.m. Friday with various pre-events including a mini health fair. Attendees have the opportunity to shop from selected vendors during the pre-event. A keynote speaker, Holly Hoffman, is followed by dinner in the Grand Ballroom. Dessert and socializing will finish off the evening.

Saturday will start at 7:45 a.m. with workshops, followed by one large group session in the afternoon. The sessions again cover a broad range of topics relating to women and the many hats they wear in their lives. Lunch and more networking opportunities make Saturday a fun filled day, according to Miller.

“We encourage women to get their friends and come to the conference and just enjoy a weekend kind of away,” she said. “It’s an opportunity to relax, meet new people. There are lots and lots of networking that goes on and women just enjoy learning something new and sharing with others.”

Fee for the conference is $40 which includes the Friday evening keynote speaker and dinner, a variety of sessions to attend on Saturday as well as a noon meal.

“Our goal really being that we provide an opportunity for women to learn something new, but also to kind of relax, enjoy and celebrate as well,” she said. “Our motto has always been, ‘Women in Denim is celebrating women in rural America.'”

To learn more about this year’s conference check out the web site at www.womenindenim.com.

Keynote speaker Holly Hoffman

“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” –Holly Hoffman from Your Winner Within Born and raised in Eureka, South Dakota, Holly Hoffman was the last remaining member of the Espada Tribe and the last woman standing on Season 21 of CBS’ hit reality show “Survivor Nicaragua”. Through that experience, and others throughout her life, Holly was inspired to share her message of positivity, determination and confidence with business leaders, teachers, and students across the nation. A professional motivational speaker and the author of Your Winner Within, Holly acknowledges that life is made up of challenges, and we are oftentimes faced with situations that seem insurmountable. But within each of us is an ability to focus our thoughts, emotions, and energy to succeed–if only we have the knowledge, tools, and discipline to do so. Holly’s writing and speaking not only offer encouragement and optimism but a roadmap for self discovery and spiritual enlightenment. Her methods–the ones she uses everyday in her own life–are intuitive, honest, and adaptable to nearly any situation. Readers and audience members alike walk away inspired to light the fire of successful living within themselves. Today, Holly is a member of the National Speaker’s Association and travels across the country, speaking to schools and universities, healthcare organizations, women’s organizations, community leaders and business professionals. In her seven years of speaking, she has traveled to 36 states and been to 180 high schools. Holly inspires her audiences to take opportunities and focus on attitude, determination, confidence, desire, faith, and perseverance.

Saturday sessions

8:30 – 9:30 am

∫ Todd Brockshus, Owner and Horticulturist Del’s Garden Center

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