Louisiana Women in Agriculture Conference

WATERPROOF, La. - (KNOE) A demonstration of farm tools by women for women at Enola farms in Tensas Parish kicked off the Louisiana Women in Agriculture Conference.

For Cindy Murphy of Baton Rouge a retired schoolteacher, it was an opportunity for hands-on experience and what she hopes is a new career in agriculture.

“I love playing in the dirt. I love being outside. I think not all women belong inside. I think there’s a place for us outside as well.

The tour also included a demonstration by Amy weeks of West Monroe. A beekeeper hoping to create an interest in her occupation. Week says women make great beekeepers.

“When it comes to queen rearing, we have really good motor skills. Women tend to be very good at it. And it’s very patient and calming enterprise and wholesome endeavor.”

Another highlight of the staff was seeing the high tunnel operation operated by Ann and Chris Mills. With help from the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Mills basically have a year-round growing season. Brenda Archer, with the Rapides Soil and Conservation District, says the biggest take away from this conference is giving women the knowledge and encouragement to get their hands dirty.

“We’re doing this to get the women to encourage each other. Learn the practices from each other also to build each other up and empower each other.”

'There hasn't always been a lot of support for women in farming and now we're at a place where even our tractors and implements are being designed to make them more accessible for women. But also there are more female landowners in the US than there are male landowners."

There are 26,000 farms in Louisiana and 3500 of them are primarily operated by women.