The Louisiana Women in Agriculture (LWAG) conference will take place on Thursday, April 7th and Friday, April 8th at the Randolph Riverfront Center in downtown Alexandria. LWAG is an opportunity for woman, passionate about agriculture, to network and learn from experienced speakers and ag-related vendors from across the state and nation.
All women (and men) involved in every aspect of agriculture are invited to this educational and inspirational two-day journey, full of fun and innovative speakers who have extensive industry knowledge. The primary goal is to support, educate and empower Louisiana women in agriculture. If you’ve attended previous conferences, you don’t want to miss this year!
The conference kicks-off on Thursday, April 7th, with registration beginning at 7:30am. Attendees won’t want to miss the Mimosas and Bloody Mary breakfast before the general session begins at 8:30am.
This year’s conference will host renowned speakers, including Marissa Hake and Meredith Bernard in the morning session, followed by a morning break, break-out sessions and lunch before resuming for the afternoon dynamic speaker, Michelle Miller “The Farm Babe” to culminate the day’s activities. In addition to the keynote speakers, Thursday will be jam packed with breakout sessions, live demonstrations, and plenty of time to browse the expo area.
This year’s emcee is Emily Reuschel, a mid-western farm wife with a background in education. Emily is an enthusiastic speaker and she passionately coaches and works with others to grow their personal development. She also runs her brand, Raising Reuschel, that provides women tools to grow authentic and healthy lives.
Meredith Bernard is a perfect blend of wife, mom, and farmer with southern roots. Her story will take you through her own experience of living on a working farm, all while handling the constant changes and uncertainty in farming, all while balancing family life.
Dr. Marissa Hake, from Edon, Ohio, is an experienced calf veterinarian who is ready to share what’s “normal” and what’s “not” when it comes to animals, specifically cows. Her strong belief in agriculture, veterinary medicine, empowering others, and communication guarantees all guests a truly remarkable experience.
Michelle Miller, also known as the “farm babe”, is an internationally recognized speaker, influencer, published columnist, and writer. Her vast social media presence and her passion for connecting farmers with consumers has led her to be featured on Forbes, Dr. Drew, and other big names in food and farming. Michelle’s session will focus on non-GMO, organic, and free-range farming, gluten-free diets, and many other terms you hear in the media and at the grocery store. What do they all mean? Michelle will demystify the jargon!
Breakout sessions include:
• Gaye Sandoz, the director of LSU AgCenter Food Incubator: How to successfully sell farm produce.
• Jeanette Lombardo, the Executive Director of the Farmer Veteran Coalition, will discuss FarmVetCo’s AgCareer and Career opportunities.
• Sarah Trichel, Assistant State Conservationist, with USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service will discuss how to take utilize USDA/NRCS programs that provide financial and technical resources for agricultural producers.
• Dana Bloome, from South Carolina, will focus on all things forestry, from logging challenges to equipment.
• Hanna Gamble and Liz Duncan will use their 45 years of combined experience to co-teach about owning and managing an equestrian business.
• Dr. Marissa Hake will give a hands-on demo (including a live cow!). In the demonstration, she’ll walk through the anatomy of the cow and offer real-life answers to common questions from cattle producers. The breakout sessions will focus on a wide range of topics that effect agricultural producers; everything from navigating the world of social media to ways military veterans can join the agricultural community. There will be something for everyone!
On Friday, April 8th, a grab-and-go breakfast will be provided as you head out to board buses for the renowned agri-tours, including three spectacular options: Alexandria Organic Farming & Brewing Tour; Forestry Tour at St. Lucia Plantation; and The Farm to Table Tour.
The Alexandria Organic Farming and Brewing Tour includes a visit to Inglewood Farms, where participants will discuss local organic farming and how the farm has produced healthy foods for the community for over a decade.
Huckleberry Brewery will focus on local craft breweries and taprooms and how the Louisiana crafted beer has played a role in the growth of Central Louisiana.
The Forestry Tour at St. Lucia Plantation in Logansport is the site of our visit to this fantastic 1,833 acre-property, where participants will learn how to harvest timber and ways to maintain a healthy mix of biodiversity. The farm owners, Carol and Hanna, are passionate about encouraging a thriving wildlife habitat, setting aside recreational areas, and protecting water quality.
The Farm to Table Tour has not one, but two, great farms to visit, both focused on sustainable farming practices. One of the farms participants will visit is ICCR Dairy Farm in Church Point. ICCR Dairy Farm is a goat dairy farm that produces products such as milk, cheese, yogurt, kefir, caramel sauce, and more! Our other great farm on the tour is T-Moise Farms in Sunset. T-Moise Farms specializes in pasture-raised Berkshire Pork, raw honey, and pasture-raised poultry, and eggs.
This year, there is an opportunity for attendees to sign-up to become a member of the Louisiana Women in Agriculture organization. Membership will play an integral role in the development of LWAG, including planning future meetings, conferences, and developing ways to serve the agricultural community. This year, you can become a member at a discounted rate when you purchase your 2022 LWAG conference ticket.
Tickets are on sale now and the tours are filling up fast! Don’t miss out on the agricultural event of the year! Go to www.louisianawomeninag.com to purchase your tickets today.