April 12, 2018, over 70 women gathered to participate in the Second Annual Women in Ag Conference at the Fulford Barn in Brownfield, Texas. Coordinated by Michelle Cooper and Jackie Pate, the goal of the event was to bring together women from around the community who all share one common thing between themselves, and that is their involvement in Agriculture.
This conference had several speakers and was kicked off with Veterinarian, horse specialist, author, and humorist Dr. Bo Brock. He enlightened the audience with his stories of more-than-funny encounters between his clients and their animals. Following Dr. Brock was Agricultural Law Specialist, Dr. Tiffany Lashment. A lighthearted speaker with a passion for agriculture that stems back from her grandmother’s story, Dr. Lashment presented the audience with important information about their farm’s financial security as well as future.
Switching gears, this conference also hosted its very own fashion show. One of Brownfield’s local business, Windsong Mercantile, and Boutique were showcased. Anna Reid, the owner, had several models that each wore 3 different outfits that could all be purchased from her store. The styles were good for all ages of women, ranging from casual wear to clothes that could be worn to a date.
Something that women in Ag are no exception to is the tedious process of acquiring an Ag Loan. However, Crystal Casarez of Prosperity Bank spoke with her expertise about the process. After Crystal, Lt. Eric Williams, owner of Community Shield Training & Consulting, talked to the women about the “Mama Bear” mindset, and why it is important in protecting your family. Lt. Williams also explained the importance of being aware of one’s surroundings, assessing the situation, and knowing what to do if a situation occurs.
To end the conference, Farmhouse Vineyards gave a presentation on their story. Beginning with the grandmother, Peggy Bingham, the audience was given insight into the struggle of farm life. Then, her eldest daughter, DeAnn Seaton, talked about the life lessons she learned from her parents and working on the farm. The most important one she learned came after her family’s entire cotton crop was devastated by a hail storm. Even in the midst of trouble, her father explained that sometimes one has to lose and other times, one has to win.
DeAnn’s daughter, Traci Ferguson, was actually the first to mention their business. She believes that her family’s business, its tasting room, and the agricultural community, has given them the opportunity to share their family’s story. The last of the family to speak was DeAnn’s daughter-in-law, Katy Jane Seaton. Katy spoke with passion about the agricultural industry and the power of fact. She also felt that the wine industry for her has given her a platform to inform people the facts of agriculture, and the number of women that were in the room inspired her.
The goal of this conference was to refresh the women of Agricultural around the community. From the humor to important financial information and then from free wine tasting to the revealing of a “chalk talk” painting done by Peggy Bingham, this conference served its purpose for the “Women of Ag” across the community.