6th Annual Women in Ag Leadership Conference

Dear Conference Attendees:

Together We Lead is this year’s conference theme.

The top barriers women reported to achieving success in the agricultural workplace include doubt in ability, knowledge, and/or skills; being taken seriously; and a lack of support and/or validation from leadership (AgCareers.com, 2020.) National survey results indicate 91% of women feel there should be more women in leadership roles in the agriculture industry (American Farm Bureau Federation, 2019.) That’s why this year’s event is focused on supporting one another, working together to get things done in agriculture, and leading beyond what we thought was possible.

We love showing you around Iowa State University. On Tuesday, we’ll begin with tours where you can set foot on the feed mill construction site, record your own public service announcement, or make a new friend. In the spirit of togetherness, you’ll have a unique opportunity to participate in a fun team building session. The intensive workshops will foster collective wisdom and help you meet other women with shared interests. Don’t miss the mentoring workshop initiated by our student interns. We’ll end the day with dinner and networking activities.

On Wednesday, our keynote speaker is Amy Cronin who raises hogs, poultry and crops with her family in Ontario, Iowa and Missouri. She is just one of the many inspiring role models who agreed to be part of this conference because they are passionate about supporting women in the agriculture industry and understand that we lead best when we work together. We know you truly enjoy hearing from our Women Impacting Ag Honorees and we are giving them as much time as possible to share their story. Seek them out throughout the day, too.

One of our speakers from last year told us this conference has a casual and friendly feel. We sure hope so. We are making it kind of rough on you this year though, because there are so many concurrent sessions, and you can only choose two. We are humbled by the experience and expertise the speakers are bringing to you. They designed the concurrent sessions to give you actionable leadership steps you can implement to improve your life, your farm business or agribusiness, and your career.

We’ll end the day powerfully with our capstone speaker, Cleophus Franklin Jr., founder of Morningside University’s Franklin Leadership Foundation and former equipment company executive.

Thank you to our advisory committee members, speakers, sponsors, and everyone who contributed to creating an extraordinary event. The advisory committee goal is to offer a women-centered program that replenishes spirits and deepens aspirations to lead within families and across the global agricultural industry. We strive to develop partnerships that help keep attendance affordable for all.

An anonymous quote reads “A farmer does not grow crops. A farmer creates an environment where crops can grow.” Similarly, we can’t grow leaders in agriculture, but we can create an environment where all of you can grow, so that Together We Lead.

Madeline Schultz and Krista Downing, Conference Co-Chairs