7th Annual Women in Ag Leadership Conference

Dear Women in Ag:

Welcome to the 7th Annual Women in Ag Leadership Conference. This year’s theme, “Cultivating Confidence, Harvesting Happiness,” reflects the purposeful dedication women give to the agricultural industry they love.

Several of the conference sessions revolve around career advancement, financial management, leadership development and hot topics in agriculture. The conference has become a comfortable setting for women to explore new opportunities while expanding their network of women working in farming, agribusiness, and agricultural organizations; as well as students.

We’re humbled and awed by the graciousness and commitment of our guest speakers. They truly care about other women in agriculture and are eager to share their hard-earned expertise. Be sure to talk with, ask questions, and thank them throughout the conference.

On Wednesday, the conference begins with tours around the ISU campus and community. You won’t want to miss the ‘behind the scenes’ look into how agriculture really works. After the tours, we’re delighted to bring you Andrea Flemming as the conference opening speaker. Her personal story of cultivating confidence will refresh your mindset and inspire your work in agriculture.

Our intensive workshops feature strong women in agriculture who are leaders and role models. They’ll generously share their experience with a focus on practical skill building and resources to help you achieve your goals. As we end the day, refnew your spirit and expand your network with a relaxing dinner and social hour.

On Thursday, the conference planning committee is extremely honored to host the founder of Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc. and ISU graduate, Sara Wyant, as our keynote speaker. Throughout her career, Sara has been a trailblazer through several glass ceilings. She’ll share her stories as a journalist, entrepreneur, and Iowa farmland owner. In a breakout session, Sara will give us an update on the Farm Bill.

We are very excited to announce the 2023 Women Impacting Ag Honorees: Kellie Blair, Melissa O’Rourke, Meredith Nunnikhoven, and Joanne Roepke Bode. Enjoy their extraordinary stories and take time to visit with them.

After lunch, we are so proud to host three amazing Iowa women who currently preside over agricultural member organization boards of directors. Trish Cook, President of the Iowa Pork Producers Association; Shelly Kruse, Chair of the Agribusiness Association of Iowa; and Jolene Riessen, President of the Iowa Corn Growers Association, will share insights on their role as leaders and the issues they care deeply about. .

The breakouts offer stimulating topics such as career advancement, conflict management, financing business start-ups, branding, empowering the next generation, and financial security for women. Our capstone speaker ends the day with a harvest of happiness. Ruth Hambleton, the founder of Annie’s Project, brought her vision to others and in so doing empowered more than 19,000 women in agriculture over the past 20 years.

This conference is designed around three key goals. We hope you’ll take home and carry with you: a belief in yourself and the power of life-long learning, connections with other women who inspire your leadership journey, and new skills that enhance your leadership and your life.

A very special thank you to our advisory committee members, speakers, sponsors, attendees, and everyone who is contributing to this remarkable event.

Krista Downing and Madeline Schultz, Conference Co-Chairs