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Women in Blue Jeans celebrating 10th year

A local women's conference will celebrate its 10th anniversary Thursday and Friday at the Highland Conference Center in Mitchell.

Women in Blue Jeans will host a "best of the best" conference this year, bringing back the most popular speakers and topics over the last 10 years, said Brenda Bode, committee member. The group aims to provide educational opportunities, inspiration and networking for women of rural America.

Some sessions will include topics on farming, marketing, global issues and how they affect rural South Dakota.

"Dr. (Dennis) Todey from SDSU will be here to talk about the climate, how it affects the global markets and how it all ties together for farm people," Bode said.

The keynote speaker is John Beranek, who is a motivational speaker many women requested the group bring back.

"He's real upbeat," Bode said. "He speaks at noon Friday and will close the day at 4:45."

Other sessions will include topics on health, investments, home and time management. There will be 20 speakers in all.

The food and fun will revolve around a tropical theme. Thursday, participants can peruse local home-based vendors, sample tropical-inspired foods, enjoy three mini-sessions, a flip-flop contest, music and learn how to hula.

The 30-minute mini-sessions are on appetizers, traveling tips and how to make a lawn water feature.

Tickets are still available for the event, which currently has 150 women registered, Bode said. She said typically 150 to 200 women attend.

"But like everything else in the great state of South Dakota, it depends on the weather," she said with a laugh.

To attend, women need to register online first at and then pay Thursday at the Highland Conference Center. The event begins at 5 p.m. Thursday evening, continues Friday at 8 a.m. and runs through 5 p.m.

"Women in Blue Jeans is a total volunteer organization," Bode said. "We're not put on by a company, we don't promote anything. We've stayed very dedicated to no one on the committee being paid."

The event is funded by area business sponsorships, she said.