I recently attended two incredible ‘women in agriculture’ events - the Women in Agribusiness Summit in Nashville back in September and the FarmHer Impact Summit in my own backyard, Ankeny, Iowa, late November. The turnout was impressive, with over 1200 women in attendance at the Women in Agribusiness event alone, marking an astounding increase from last year! While women remain a minority in agriculture, these events provide a platform to bring us together and celebrate our collective impact.
Being a woman in agriculture can be intimidating and challenging given the underrepresentation in leadership positions, in the media, and typically being a minority on Zoom calls or at conferences. Ironically enough, I spoke to one of the only men there who said to me “This really puts things into perspective…it feels strange to be one of the only men in a room”.
This doesn’t stop us from making a big impact on the industry and that’s why I think it’s so important to get together through these networks and soak up the rich knowledge and experiences from others. With speakers like Jessica Adelman, Janae Brady & Noralee Bradley, the women present were so intelligent and knowledgeable. What struck me the most was the genuine spirit of collaboration amongst the women in agriculture. Every person I spoke to or listened to had a unique perspective to offer and there was no holding back on invaluable tips, tricks and insights.
Beyond the enriching discussions, the thoughtful catering added a touch of celebration and sophistication with fancier appetizers, champagne, and chocolate-covered strawberries to elevate the overall experience.
This year was the year I also discovered FarmHer, an organization that originated in Iowa, my home state. Raquel Gottsch Koehler, Owner + CEO of FarmHer, Inc states on the FarmHer website what the Impact Summit is all about “The goal of the Impact Summit by FarmHer is to inspire women, provide insight, and build authentic relationships with other FarmHers”. This was evident throughout both events which united people from diverse corners of the industry, ranging from the field to the senate. I ate dinner with keynote speakers Greg Doud and Janae Brady from the White House, gaining insight into bridging policy needs from local farmers to the government's top level.
Looking ahead, I hope to see more women entering the agricultural industry and in leadership positions. Afterall, agriculture has such an obvious and crucial purpose, and can be such a fulfilling career path. Personally, my favorite thing about working in agriculture is the relationships that are built and continually learning about impressive and innovative new technology that makes our food systems more productive and sustainable in the long run.
In summary, these conferences serve as an important platform for us women making waves in agriculture. These types of events are about breaking barriers, supporting one another, and amplifying our voices. We are not just a vital part of agriculture today; we are actively shaping its future. Let's raise a metaphorical fancy champagne glass and cheers to the growth, collaboration, and incredible women shaping the future of agriculture! If you have any questions about these events or plan on attending in the future, I’d love to hear from you!Get a demo