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Montana Women to Tackle Issues at Weekend Conference

The fourth annual Montana Farmers Union Women's Conference is this weekend. (Montana Farmers Union)
The fourth annual Montana Farmers Union Women's Conference is this weekend. (Montana Farmers Union)
February 2, 2016

BOZEMAN, Mont. - Rural Montana women will have the chance to network and tackle common issues at the Montana Farmers Union Women's Conference this weekend in the town of Paradise.

A 2015 study by the Institute for Women's Policy Research showed only four women in statewide office, that women still make only 75 cents on the dollar compared with men, and less than 40 percent of women with full-time jobs are in managerial positions.

Delisa Protsman, education director for the Montana Farmers Union, says the conference will encourage women to form bonds so they can help each other reach their goals.

"The conference was started four years ago as a way to develop leadership skills amongst rural women," says Protsman. "Conference attendees don't necessarily need to have an agricultural background, just that an interest in developing rural Montana."

The conference will include sessions on options in rural and agricultural lending and on improving communications skills. Protsman says the women also will identify problems facing rural Montana and brainstorm ways to fix them.

"So we hope to gain some really good information as far as what barriers the women are up against in their rural communities as well as avenues to assist them," she says.

The Montana Farmers Union also holds leadership camps in the summer, offers lessons during the school year, and supports beginning farmers and veteran farmers.

The conference takes place at Quinn's Hot Springs Resort on Fri., Feb. 5 through Sun., Feb. 7. More information is online at MontanaFarmersUnion.com.

Suzanne Potter, Public News Service - MT