MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The state will hold its first conference for women farmers starting Friday in Wisconsin Dells.
The U.S. Census Bureau says there were 7,000 women farmers in Wisconsin in 2002, the latest year for which figures are available.
Many new female farmers raise nontraditional crops and livestock, such as alpacas and llamas.
Wisconsin Farm Center worker Kathy Schmitt says she organized the two-day conference for farmers like herself.
Schmitt says she grew up on a farm but was learning to cook when her brothers were learning about agriculture.
She says that gave her a lot to master when she started breeding draft horses on a small farm in Fitchburg.
Schmitt says the conference will help women make their farms more profitable and able to withstand volatility in the weather and markets.