Woodward, Okla. —
BEAVER - Beaver County OSU Extension and the federal Farm Service Agency (FSA) are hosting a free Women in Agriculture Conference on Nov. 14.
But it's not just for the ladies. Anyone interested in agriculture is welcome, said Liz Gardner-McBee, Beaver County agriculture extension educator.
The one-day conference will convene at 9:15 a.m. and last until around 3 p.m., with lunch provided.
Topics for the conference will range from agriculture leases to wind energy and transmission lines to land management maps.
INFORMATION ABOUT A DISCRIMINATION CLAIMS PROCESS
However the highlight of the conference will be a discussion led by FSA representatives to share information on a discrimination claims process for women and Hispanic farmers. Specifically, women and Hispanic farmers will learn about settling claims against the USDA regarding discrimination leveled against them between 1981 and 2000 for practices stemming from denial of USDA loans, Gardner-McBee said.
She said filing a claim could entitle the eligible producers to receive their share of $1.33 billion in cash award and tax relief payments, plus a portion of $160 million in farm debt relief set aside by the USDA.
Claims must be filed by March 25, 2013. USDA said to call, toll-free, (888) 508-4429, or go to www.farmerclaims.gov for information on filing a claim.
The Beaver Women in Agriculture Conference is just one of several conferences slated to be held around the state in an effort to reach all minorities who may have been discriminated against. Other conference locations include Durant (Nov. 1), Poteau (Nov. 5), Sulphur (Nov. 16) and Wewoka (Nov. 17).
Teri Manley, of the Natural Resources Conservation Service, said Beaver County was selected for one of the conference locations because it has a significant number of women and Hispanic farmers.
DEADLINE TO REGISTER NOV. 7
The event is free, but registration is requested for meal planning and seating purposes. Call the Beaver County Extension Office, (580) 625-3464 by Nov. 7 to sign up and get more information.
Manley said a similar program was held in Texas County 2 years ago, and it was attended by about 100 persons.
"I think the attendance varies by the location," she said.
Get more details on the conferences by going to www.oces.okstate.edu.