Women interested in swine marketing are invited to attend one of two hands-on workshops focusing on risk management education and decision-making tools in northwest Iowa in early February or one during Iowa Pork Congress later this month. The USDA Risk Management Agency, Iowa State University (ISU) Extension, Iowa Pork Industry Center and Iowa Pork Producers Association are sponsoring this interactive swine edition of “Margin Maker” in three locations specifically for women.

ISU Extension swine program specialist Dave Stender said the sessions provide attendees with the opportunity to discuss marketing tools and have a hands-on simulation to practice risk management skills without risking actual assets.

“Women often are involved with maintaining financial records and some work with with marketing in their operations,” Stender said. “This program allows women to gain awareness of available tools and sharpen their skills. They’ll practice risk management skills in a market simulation and learn strategies in an enjoyable environment through interaction with each other.”

The dates, times and locations in northwest Iowa are: Monday, Feb. 7, 1 to 4 p.m. in the ISU Extension Shelby County office in Harlan, and Tuesday, Feb. 8, from 4:30 to 8 p.m. at the ISU Extension Sac County office in Sac City. There is no cost to attend, but preregistration is strongly encouraged to ensure the minimum of six participants per location is met.

The Iowa Pork Congress session is set for Wednesday, Jan. 26, at 1 p.m. in Room 2 of Hy-Vee Hall in Des Moines. It’s free to attendees of Iowa Pork Congress attendees; however, preregistration also is strongly suggested for this session.

Sessions are designed to be non-threatening for any knowledge or skill level, Stender said. Each participant learns by making simulated market decisions on computer.

“Class discussion will help increase understanding throughout the workshop,” Stender said. “Past participants have told us and others that this is a fun way to learn.”

Stender, ISU Extension farm management program specialist Tom Olsen and ISU Extension agriculture economics specialist Shane Ellis will present the information and assist attendees with the interactive learning portion of the workshops.

To register for any of the workshops, contact Stender by phone at 712-225-6196, by cell phone at 712-261-0225 or by e-mail at dstender@iastate.edu.

By Dave Stender, ISU Extension -- Cherokee County, and Sherry Hoyer, Iowa Pork Industry Center