Welcome to the 5th Annual Women in Ag Leadership Conference

Dear Conference Attendees:

Women have vital roles in Iowa’s agricultural economy. Nearly 35,000 women are making key decisions on Iowa’s 86,000 farms every day according to the USDA 2017 Census of Ag. For the 2021 academic year, women are more than half (57.1 percent) of the undergraduates in the Iowa State University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Women in agricultural careers from legal services, to livestock production, research and land sales are helping keep Iowa vibrant and resilient.

Lead Like Someone Left the Gate Open is the conference theme. There’s no better time than now to re-think your boundaries and chase your dreams. We are pleased to work with exceptional women on the leadership conference planning committee to bring together women in agribusiness, women in farming, students of agriculture and all interested people for two days of personal development, networking, and renewal.

This year, you’ll have a unique opportunity to get up close and personal with Iowa’s own world-class agricultural speaker, Jolene Brown. We’ll get to know her well as she takes us through a special leadership journey with three presentations to help you build a solid business foundation, use your passion and purpose to light the fires, and celebrate your agrarian roots.

Our campus tours let you experience the turfgrass at Jack Trice Stadium, explore a rooftop greenhouse conservatory, discover the world of plant pathology and entomology, or time-travel with a visit to the 1860 Farm House and 2020 ISU Creamery. We’ll soar high with our panel of three entrepreneurs. Lynn Bolin and her family offer farm stay guests a chance to ‘sleep with the cows.’ Kim Andersen and her husband transitioned to organic production and opened Blueberry Bottom to the community. Katie Holtz stepped up to the Vice President role in her family’s innovative PigEasy agribusiness. Our concurrent sessions offer surprising variety. You can learn how to create more balance in your life, land that next leadership role, get more out of social media, or innovate crop production and conservation. You’ll be inspired by this year’s Women Impacting Agriculture honorees who are building businesses and creating community.

We are excited to bring you Dr. Amani Elobeid as our capstone speaker. She will share her leadership journey from the University of Khartoum in Sudan to earning her

Ph.D. at Iowa State University to receiving an Excellence in Teaching award and advising the ISU Agricultural Business Club.

The mission of the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Women in Ag Program is to improve the quality of life in Iowa by providing research-based educational resources and programs that expand agricultural business, improve natural resource management and support the community of women in agriculture. The conference committee goals are 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.

We are in awe of the excellent work you, as women in agriculture, do every day. That is why we are especially pleased to offer this opportunity for personal development as we learn and laugh together. We would like to thank everyone who volunteered time to prepare an extraordinary event for you. Enjoy the leadership conference!

Madeline Schultz and Jade Hargrafen, Conference Co-Chairs