The annual Midwest Women in Agriculture Conference is set to meet the needs of women in all sectors of agriculture.

The conference will be held Feb. 18-19 at theRadisson Hotel at Star Plaza in Merrillville, 800 E. 81st Ave.

A preconference program will be held at 1 p.m. CST Feb. 17 at Fair Oaks Farms, 856 N. 600 E, Fair Oaks, at 1 p.m.  As part of the program, participants can register for a dairy adventure or pig adventure tour.

Along with the preconference tours, there will be dinner that evening at The Patio, 7706 Broadway in Merrillville. Attendees must indicate their interest when registering for the conference. 

"Our goal in planning the conference is always to make sure we are finding topics and speakers that are relevant to the needs of the women attending the conference," said conference co-chair Kelly Heckaman, Purdue Extension agriculture and natural resources educator in Kosciusko County. "This year we are focusing on telling the story of women in agriculture through our keynote speakers and in our breakout sessions. We realize that the upcoming year will require tougher financial management decisions, and we have sessions for that, too."

Keynote speakers and their topics are:

* Jay Akridge, Glenn W. Sample Dean of Agriculture at Purdue University: "Update from Purdue Agriculture."

* Carrie Mess, dairy farmer, blogger, speaker and advocate for agriculture: "Welcome to the World of Agvocacy."

* Matt Lohr, director of the Knowledge Center for Virginia Farm Credit: "Leaving a Lasting Legacy."

Conference sessions include topics on management, marketing, financing and business planning. 

Registration should be submitted by Feb. 2. There will be additional fees for registration received after Feb. 3. For more information about registration and details on the conference agenda, visit www.extension.purdue.edu/wia.

A video clip with excerpts of the 2014 conference is available athttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b2bSV530SFg.