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Women Leaders in Agriculture Conference

January 3, 2002

MERCED, CA — The University of California, Merced will present the third annual Women Leaders in Agriculture Conference on January 10, 2002 at the Radisson Hotel in Fresno.

This year's conference, titled “Charting Your Future Through Hard Times,” will focus on personal leadership, changes in family business and the future of agriculture.

“The conference is designed to enhance the continuing evolution of women in leadership roles in all phases of California agriculture,” said Helen Sullivan, organizer of the conference and Director of Professional Studies at UC Merced.

The event is co-sponsored by the California Women for Agriculture, the California Agricultural Leadership Program, and the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at UC Davis.

Conference sessions will include: “Sustainability – Thinking Outside the Box,” “The Future Paths of Agriculture: Organic Farming, Niche Markets and Biotechnology,” “A Life in Flux,” “Bringing About Change in Family Business,” and “Where Do We Go From Here?”

Conference presenters will include: Karen Ross, President, California Association of Wine Grape Growers; Brian Leahy, Executive Director, California Certified Organic Farmers; Deneese Willey, Partner, T&D Willey Farms; Bu Nygrens, Owner, Veritable Vegetable, Inc.; Judith Kjelstrom, Associate Director, UC Davis Biotechnology Program; Tim LaSalle, President & CEO, Agricultural Education Foundation; Peggy Sears Perry, Professor, College of Agriculture, Cal Poly; and Carrie Lou Berry, Owner, NextStep.

Past attendees have reflected the wide variety of sectors within the great Central Valley agricultural community including owners and managers of farms and produce businesses, executives from professional organizations and the California Department of Food and Agriculture, agriculture commissioners and regional directors of numerous county Farm Bureaus, and the Chancellor of UC Merced, Carol Tomlinson-Keasey. The third annual conference's attendance is expected to surpass that of the previous two years.

The conference will begin at 8:00 a.m. on Thursday, January 10, 2002 at the Radisson Hotel, 2233 Ventura St., Fresno. Cost of the conference is $36 per person, which includes a continental breakfast and lunch. For students, or for lunch attendance only, the cost is $20. For additional information or to register for the conference, please contact Helen Sullivan, UC Merced, 559-241-7400.

UC Merced, the 10thcampus of the University of California system, will be the first major research university built in the United States in the 21 stcentury. In partnership with the people of the San Joaquin Valley and of California, UC Merced will create a multi-cultural community of scholars and students that benefits from unique new methods of leveraging technology to create and share knowledge.

The university will serve students in three ways that complement the changing needs of today's society:

  1. a residential campus in Merced serving 25,000 students at full build-out;
  2. special educational centers throughout the San Joaquin Valley; and
  3. cooperative agreements with the California Community College system.

UC Merced will open for instruction in fall 2004, at which time the university will serve its first 1,000 students.