‘Stronger Than Yesterday’ blogger to speak at Pearls of Production event for women

Carey Portell

Beef producer Carey Portell will tell women at Pearls of Production how she survived and thrived after a car accident nearly took her life almost nine years ago.

The seventh annual event for women in production agriculture runs Nov. 1-2 in Columbia. Pearls of Production provides hands-on training and leadership opportunities for women in livestock production, says Marcia Shannon, University of Missouri Extension swine nutritionist and one of the event’s organizers.

Portell writes “Stronger Than Yesterday,” a blog that tells of her determination to keep ranching after being struck by a drunk driver. Two crushed ankles and a fused pelvis make it difficult for her to stand more than 10 minutes at a time. Through the help of the Missouri AgrAbility Project and Missouri Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, Portell found ways to keep ranching.

As a motivational speaker, Portell warns of the dangers of drunk driving. Shannon says her message on how faith, family, forgiveness, and farming will inspire listeners.

U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler kicks off the event 1 p.m. Friday, Nov. 1, at the Drury Plaza, Columbia. Hartzler serves on the House Agriculture Committee. The Friday afternoon session includes a bus tour to MU’s Horticulture and Agroforestry Research Center at New Franklin. HARC researches silvopastoral practices as well as nut and tree production. Portell speaks at the 6 p.m. dinner.

Saturday breakout sessions include hands-on demonstrations by MU Extension specialists. In the equine session, attendees can learn about the care of horses and how to load trailers safely. The small-ruminant session covers Bud boxes, rope halters, banded castration, and injection techniques. The beef session looks at DNA sampling, blood pregnancy testing and safe livestock handling.

Register online at the Pearls of Production website by October 14 for a discounted fee.