Farm Credit Services of Mandan celebrated its 25th year of hosting a personal development day dedicated to farm women. This year’s forum was held at the Bismarck Municipal Country Club on March 28th to a crowd of nearly 200 farm women.

“25 years ago there wasn’t much for training that was geared toward farm women and as the chief emotional officer (CEO) of the farm operation they need to be motivated to take on the challenges for another year”, said Becky Peterson, Director of Marketing for Farm Credit Services of Mandan. “It has been a rewarding event to plan each spring as we have learned, laughed and connected with each other and our rural communities, and hopefully, relieved some stress,” she added

Keynote speaker, Dr. JoAnne Owens-Nauslar, Ed.D., shows the farm women how to move to improve while telling them about the benefits of physical activity.

This year’s keynote speaker, Dr. Joanne Owens-Nauslar, Ed.D., talk “If Your Horse is Dead, Dismount” was on why we need to Move to Improve and at age 70 she was living proof. “With her Nebraska farm background and physical education degrees, she was the perfect form of ag energy for our crowd, they absolutely loved her and her message,” said Peterson. Here are a few of the evaluation comments:: Good down to earth advice with humor and exercise sprinkled in – it was GREAT! She was able to balance humor, educational info, and self-disclosure perfectly! Such a great person. Fantastic! What a great message to be positive, active, kind and make a difference in other’s lives.

Each year the forum’s luncheon speaker is the past winner of the Farm & Ranch Guides Country Woman of the Year (CWOY). This year Leann Shafer from New Rockford, the 2016 CWOY, gave a great message about her life and the stages she went through to be a successful ag business.

Over the years, the Farm Women’s Forum program has featured a number of creative Pride of Dakota type businesses that were started by entrepreneurial women in rural North Dakota. Some of these businesses kept the farm or ranch operation cash flowing others ended up being a labor of love. These presentations have been a great resource for business minded women and rural community development.

The forums have also included a fun activity. To play off the silver anniversary theme, Larry Schneider with Bismarck Gold and Silver Exchange shared what the silver market is offering and he evaluated a few silver based items such as jewelry, coins, silverware that the audience brought.

The day was capped off with an entertaining presentation by Katie Cashman Fitzsimmons who with her sister, Missy, started the Auctionisters, a charity auction partnership that combines their gift of gab with their Cashman salesmanship. She sold the crowd on their creative talents and community involvement as she shared her story of “Telling, Yelling, and Selling: Finding Partnership, Fulfillment and Worth on the Auction Block.

Farm Credit Services of Mandan had been proud to offer this personal development day free to their customers and rural community guest for the past 25 years. “Producer education is a true benefit of their cooperative ownership”, concluded Peterson.

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