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4th Annual Women Leaders in Agriculture Conference Comes toTulare Feb. 10

January 22, 2003

MERCED, CA — “Women Shaping the Future of Agriculture” is the focus of the fourth annual Women Leaders in Agriculture Conference sponsored by UC Merced, California Women for Agriculture and the International Agri-Center on Feb. 10, 2003 at Tulare's International Agri-Center.

Inspirational stories of success, educational information on expanding agricultural businesses and an entertaining cooking demonstration are among the highlights of the conference. Women working in any sector of agriculture are encouraged to participate in the conference.

“Through this conference we want to offer women who are active in agriculture an opportunity to share experiences and ideas that will help them achieve success and exert a powerful, positive influence in this constantly evolving industry,” said Helen Sullivan, conference organizer and Director of Professional Studies at UC Merced.

Kicking off the conference is “Stories of Success: Women Succeeding in Agriculture,” a session presented by Karen Caplan, President and CEO of Frieda's Specialty Foods, and Glenda Humiston, former U.S. Department of Agriculture Undersecretary for Natural Resources. A second session on “How to Expand and Diversify Your Agricultural Business” features Nita Gizdich, joint owner of Gizdich Ranch.

A taste-tempting cooking demonstration by Laura Macintoch of television's “Bringing It Home” and “The Full Bloom Show” and a wine and cheese reception will close the program.

Presented with support from the California Agricultural Leadership Program and the UC Davis School of Agriculture and Environmental Science, the Women Leaders in Agriculture Conference will be held at the Heritage Center of the International Agri-Center. The conference is scheduled as a special opening event for the World Ag Expo (Feb. 11-13, 2003).

Preceding the conference on Feb. 10, the California Farm Bureau Federation is sponsoring a morning program on environmental issues and the Agri-Center is hosting an agriculture-themed luncheon. For information about the morning program and luncheon, please contact the International Agri-Center at (800) 999-9186 or (559) 688-1751.

The registration cost for the Women Leaders in Agriculture Conference is $15 for the general public and $10 for students. Checks should be made payable to the UC Regents and sent to the Division of Professional Studies, UC Merced Center, 550 East Shaw Avenue, Suite 100, Fresno, CA 93710. For additional information, please contact Helen Sullivan of UC Merced at (559) 241-7414.

UC Merced, the 10th campus of the University of California system, currently employs more than 120 educators and professionals and will welcome its first 1,000 students in fall 2004. The university will serve students in three ways that complement the changing needs of today's society: 1) a residential campus serving 25,000 students when complete; 2) educational centers throughout the San Joaquin Valley; and 3) cooperative agreements with the California Community College system.