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Women on the Farm workshop viewed as a success
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“It is difficult to make decisions or even know where to start after the death of someone close to you.”  Speaker D. Elizabeth Kiss, PH.D, KSU told an audience of 30 at the workshop for “Women on the Farm”.  
Members of the planning committee were very pleased with the interest and attendance of our first in a series of regularly scheduled workshops. Valuable lessons were talked about, information shared and lots of notes entered by all on pages provided.
The workshop began at 2 p.m .on July 21 with Stephanie Royer welcoming everyone. She explained about the purpose of these workshops to educate through planning, being aware of and developing skills to make informed decisions as the needs arise.  Stephanie also shared how our committee was started through the NRCS, KSU Extension and Conservation Districts of Rush, Barton and Pawnee Counties. Our goals are to provide a service of education, awareness and skills for” Women on the Farm”.
Planning Committee members then walked the audience through the agenda.
Melissa Woydziak informed the group of our Facebook page. She drew everyone’s attention to a handout and asked that each attendee complete a questionnaire on topics they would be interested in hearing at future workshops.
Sandy Nelson introduced the first speaker Marylyn Bell. Marylyn is from Lincoln. Her husband, Byron, taught at Soldier High School in early 1960’s. In addition to farming, Byron was the Jr. High School Coach and 7th grade teacher at Tescott at the time of his death in August 1986 due to an accident just two miles from their country home. Her talk in a nutshell is a list of some of the things to think about and have taken care of in case of the sudden loss of a spouse. Marylyn suggested ways friends can be of help to a farm family that just suffered a loss.
Marylyn has worn many hats over the years; farm wife, school teacher, adjunct college professor, State Music Curriculum Framework Committee, County Committee member for FSA, Farm Bureau Board and other local boards. She currently is on the Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee.
Erin Petersilie introduced the second speaker Elizabeth Kiss. Elizabeth is an Extension Specialist in the School of family Studies and Human Services at Kansas State University. In this position, she assists in the development and delivery of a statewide Cooperative Extension program focused on developing the financial knowledge and skills for sound financial decisions of Kansans. Elizabeth discussed practical suggestions regarding financial and legal matters after a death of a family member.
Elizabeth holds B.S. degrees in foods, business and history and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in family and consumer economics. Her degrees were awarded by Iowa State University of Illinois and at Urbana-Champaign.
Kathie Rondeau provided the door prize of a photo shoot of choice, a family picture or farm event for the lucky winner.  
Pam Tucker introduced the panel.
A panel of four women answered questions and shared their stories. Besides the two speakers two other women, Patricia Petz and Ellen Berry, joined the panel.
Patricia has been a school teacher at the LaCrosse Grade School for 36 years. She has taught first, second, fourth and sixth grades.  She was also a farm wife who lost her husband, Danny, to cancer in 2013.  Danny was a full time farmer.
Ellen has been an office manager for the Women’s Recovery Treatment Center for Drugs and Alcohol in Hoisington, worked at a print shop in Great Bend and currently works some at the local coop and other needed jobs. Ellen was a farm wife who lost her husband, Roger, to a heart attack in 2011. Roger was a full time farmer.
Litza Lopez Ramos closed out the workshop announcing “Women on the Farm” is holding the next workshop Oct. 27 in Great Bend at the Recreation Center. The focus will be Succession Farming. The speaker will be Gregg Hadley who holds a Ph.D. and is the Assistant Director, Natural Resources and Community Development, K-State Research and Extension in Manhattan. Gregg will be speaking about passing on the farm-steps to a successful transition. Like us on Facebook and register for the next meeting.