(PRWEB) November 18, 2012
The Farm Credit Associations of North Carolina are providing scholarships for women who are currently working in rural NCDA or USDA inspected meat processing plants located in North Carolina to attend the 2nd annual Carolina Meat Conference in Bermuda Run, NC. The event brings together producers, processors, educators, and allied professionals for two days of learning and networking, December 3rd & 4th, 2012 at the WinMock Dairy & Event Center. In an effort to highlight women leaders in the local and niche meat industry, the Carolina Meat Conference has partnered with the Farm Credit Associations of North Carolina to develop specific programming for women at the December conference as well as a two-day retreat in early 2013. The three associations, Carolina Farm Credit, AgCarolina Farm Credit and Cape Fear Farm Credit have partnered to become a Prime sponsor of the Carolina Meat Conference.
“We feel that this is an important need, and we are thrilled to be supporting this program,” said Maggie Hamm, SVP of Marketing for Carolina Farm Credit in Statesville, NC. “This event will be a superb opportunity for women who work in rural meat processing plants to learn more about the important role they are playing in advancing the local meat industry.”
On Monday evening, December 3rd, Dr. Temple Grandin will provide the conference keynote address. In addition to her early struggle with autism, Temple Grandin overcame gender inequities throughout higher education and in the workforce to become one of the world’s most famous women in the livestock and meat industry. Dr. Grandin’s animal behavior research has revolutionized the meat industry, and her writings on the flight zone and other principles of animal behavior have helped producers and packers reduce stress during handling, resulting in higher meat quality and greater worker safety throughout the supply chain. Dr. Grandin’s visit is sponsored by the Farm Credit Associations of North Carolina, further highlighting their commitment to bringing global perspectives of women in the meat industry to North Carolina.
The conference will also feature perspectives from over fifteen women who are leaders in the agriculture and meat industry. A panel titled Women in the Meat Business on Tuesday December 4th will explore the challenges and opportunities for women working in the meat sector. In early 2013, NC Choices will host a two-day retreat for women in the meat industry that will include hands-on meat cutting, marketing, and merchandising. Both sessions will be facilitated by Master Butcher Kari Underly of Range Inc. based in Chicago, IL. The December conference will be Underly’s 3rd visit to North Carolina with NC Choices educational programs.
“We’ve got a real powerhouse group of female leaders headlining this event,” says farmer and Conference Coordinator Meredith McKissick. “We’ll be discussing challenges that are unique to women in a male-dominated arena, like addressing stereotypes, balancing work and family, managing the physical nature of the work, and how to build technical and leadership skills. We’re providing a platform for women, who are also farmers, butchers, and food entrepreneurs, to network and increase their technical skills.” McKissick says.
For a full Conference agenda and registration, visit http://www.carolinameatconference.com. For more information about the Farm Credit Association Scholarship Fund, contact casey(at)ncchoices(dot)com
For more information on the Farm Credit Associations of North Carolina please visit: carolinafarmcredit.com, agcarolina.com or capefearfarmcredit.com.