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Nov 5, 1999 - Dr. Vivianne Holmes of the University of Maine's Cooperative Extension believes many Maine farm women elect the farm life as a legitimate career option. Dr. Holmes will share her philosophy with a bevy of farm women when she moderates Maine's Women in Agriculture conference. "New England women are acknowledging that they are an integral part of the farm process. They're keeping their farms afloat in the face of sharp competition by diversifying their farms," Holmes said.

The conference themes dealing with risk management strategies and marketing practices combined with alternative career opportunities are tailored for farm women who find the farm lifestyle both challenging and satisfying. Speakers include state commissioners of agriculture, lenders, and university extension specialists.

Holmes added, "We've had many conferences for producers, but focusing on the women in agriculture is a milestone for the agricultural community. I think the networking that will go on will be one of the greatest benefits for the participants."

Summing up, Holmes said, "We will focus on the particular issues faced by New England farms, like the crop diversification that is an important factor for farmers who face land pressure and weather extremes. We'll also be looking into the many hats farm women must wear today."

For further registration information, contact Mary Cleveland at (302) 831-2512. For workshop content information, please call Scott Lucas at (919) 875-4880 or email: