Iowa State University Extension and Outreach 4th Annual Women in Ag Leadership Conference
November 29 to November 30, 2021


Nov 29
11:30 am Onsite Check-in Begins

Networking and Refreshments

12:30 pm Iowa State University Campus Tours

Tour A1: Farm House and ISU Creamery’s Two Swans: hosted by Sarah Canova
Join us for a tour of the Farm House Museum on central campus and the ISU Creamery. Built in 1860, the Farm House was the first building on campus. The dairy store was re-stablished in 2020, after a 50-year hiatus, under the leadership of Dr. Stephanie Clark. Sarah Canova, an ISU Alum, manages the creamery. She’ll show us the ice-cream and cheese curd production process, talk about the business side of the creamery, and share how students benefit from the new creamery. Tour participants may purchase ice-cream and cheese to enjoy.

Tour A2: Turfgrass and More at the Jack Trice Stadium; hosted by Dr. Adam Thoms, Barb Clawson, Mira Emma, and Joshua Tvrdik
Thanks in part to a collaboration with the ISU Horticulture Department’s research farm and Turfgrass Management program, Jack Trice Stadium is getting new turfgrass this fall. On this tour, you’ll learn about the research and management that goes into having a beautiful, functional natural grass stadium that is consistently ranked as one of the best in the nation. We’ll visit Jack Trice Stadium to see firsthand what it takes to renovate the football field turfgrass. We’ll also visit the ISU softball and soccer fields with player and turfgrass student, Mira Emma.

Tour A3: Greenhouse Research and Sunshine Galore; hosted by Pete Lawlor and Kenny McCabe
Have you ever wondered what is going on in those greenhouses on campus? Pete Lawlor and Kenny McCabe will share the intricate workings of these sunny spaces. They’ll highlight research projects on a wide range of crops from corn to lettuce. We’ll tour the Bessey Hall rooftop greenhouse and Pohl Conservatory which encompasses over 12,000 square feet; and the Horticultural Hall 12,000 square-foot greenhouse which is equipped with state-of-the-art environmental control and innovative production systems.

Tour A-4: Nematodes, Spiders and Bees, Oh My!; hosted by Dr. Laura Iles and Ginny Mitchell
Insects and other arthropods have a critical role in Iowa’s landscape and economy. That’s why Ginny Mitchell and her team are on a mission to “Spread Bug Love” though the ISU Insect Zoo. On this tour, go behind the scenes in the Insect Zoo’s three animal rearing rooms, brimming with arthropods. From walking sticks to honey pot ants, tarantulas and beetles. Participants will also learn about how these living animals are used in hands-on programming to foster an appreciation for earth and it’s smallest inhabitants. We’ll also visit the ISU Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic to learn what happens to the sample you send in. Dr. Laura Iles and Dr. Lina Rodriguez-Salamanca will step us through the process to diagnose plant problems and identify insects and weeds.

2:30 pm Networking and Refreshments

3:00 pm General Session One (3 hours with a break midway)

Opening Remarks; given by Madeline Schultz and Jade Hargrafen

If We Huff and Puff, Will We Blow Your House Down?; presented by Jolene Brown

In “The Three Little Pigs” the third one got it right! He built a solid foundation, one brick at a time to withstand the test of time. He made sure there was mortar holding it together.

We need the same in our businesses – a right and experienced leader, specific and realistic management tools, a solid foundation including legal documents to assure peace of mind, and the recognition that a professionally run business provides the best chance to thrive. Only then can we withstand the challenges and surprises that test or bring down a family business. Only then can we celebrate creating a profitable and productive business, worthy of transitioning to the next generation.

In this upbeat interactive workshop you will:

  • learn that if you want to honor the family, you’d better do the business right. If not, at the end of the day, you may have neither family nor business.
  • realize we are in the people business, not just production. Leaders and managers bring good will, good experience, good skills and a commitment to do the foundation work.
  • receive 8 take home tools for transitioning labor, management, leadership and ownership

With valuable content wrapped in real life stories and lots of fun, you’ll discover that when your business is constructed correctly, not only do we have a productive and profitable result, we also have laid the foundation for the legacy of a family business.

6:00 pm Networking, Dinner and Cash Bar

7:00 pm Program Concludes

Nov 30
7:30 am Onsite Check-in Begins

Networking and Refreshments

8:30 am Morning General Session

Opening Remarks; given by Madeline Schultz and Jade Hargrafen

University Welcome; presented by Dr. Carmen Bain

Keynote Address – Let Go of the Rope!; presented by Jolene Brown
As a hot air balloon is launched, the people on the ground must let go of the ropes. Hanging on too long has ominous consequences, in ballooning and in agriculture. Not only will it keep you from implementing your important goals, it can put you and your mission in a precarious situation. As leaders and women in agriculture, we need you launched and ready to soar! It’s time for passion and purpose to light the fires because the pace, the people, the process and the products have all changed. Have we? With lots of laughter and real world stories, we’ll discover that letting
go is the first step in soaring higher! Enjoy the journey!

Women Impacting Agriculture Honors; presented by Lisa Scarbrough and Monica Lursen
We are pleased to share with you the inspiring stories of Cindy McCullough and Marilee Jones! Congratulations to the 2021 honorees! As president and owner of Blue Stem Feed Mill, Cindy enjoys working with livestock customers to formulate feed rations and crop producers she sources organic grain from. Cindy serves on the Iowa Organic Board of Directors and is a previous Chair of the ISU Extension and Outreach Hamilton County Extension Council. Marilee Jones was raised with pigs and dairy cows. She began farming with her husband in 1994 and recently purchased the family farm she grew up on. She is committed to transitioning a strong farming legacy to her five children. Marilee is completing her real estate license and hopes to be a resource for women landowners. Cindy and Marilee both stand out as women who care about their communities and strive to support and assist other farm families.

10:30 am Networking and Refreshments

10:45 am General Session Two

Panel – Soaring High with Entrepreneurship, Moderator – Ann Johanns, Entrepreneurs – Lynn Bolin, New Day Dairy Guest Barn; Kim Andersen, Blueberry Bottom Farm; and Katie Holtz, PigEasy

Out of the gate thinking helped launch new businesses for our three entrepreneurs and their families. Recognizing a market for their unique products and services, these women reach for the sky. As experienced travelers themselves, Lynn and her husband Dan knew people would enjoy an enriching farm stay where they could sleep with the cows and learn about dairy farming. It’s all part of re-building a 130-year-old family farm for the future. Kim and her husband, Steve, transitioned their farm to organic grains in 2014. Then, Kim opened her organic blueberry u-pick in 2019. She loves seeing families delight in picking and eating fresh blueberries. PigEasy grew out of a farmer’s common sense and an inventor’s curiosity. Katie’s dad, Dave Klocke, launched PigEasy in 2013. Katie now serves as Vice President and leads marketing strategy for the growing agribusiness.

11:45 am General Session Three

Networking and Luncheon

Luncheon Address – Harvest the Humor: A Celebration of Life on the Farm; presented by Jolene Brown
In this joy-filled tribute to those of us living and working on the farm, you’ll find yourself laughing and commiserating with your friends and neighbors. Together we’ll discover that juggling farm life with a smile can save your sanity—and bring you great joy. Get ready for real life lessons learned as we deal with breakdowns and parts runs, family in-laws and farm priorities, money and communication (or lack of it!). Most of all, you’ll leave with big smiles on your faces and mighty glad that your farm roots run deep. It’s time to celebrate!

1:45 pm Networking and Refreshments

Session B1: Healthy Balance Exists and You’re so Much Closer Than You Know; presented by Alexa Schirm
If you’re like most women, you’re burning the candle at both ends, and for a good reason. The good news is you can leverage this stress to make it work for you. Creating a different view of stress that allows you to find balance in the chaos of life. Inside this session, learn the secrets to create balance in your life, changing your health forever. You will leave energized and with a solid plan to help you live out health today, no matter where you’re starting from.

Session B2: Find Your Wings to Transform Your Leadership Journey; presented by Holly Betten and Kami McDonough
Are you ready for new leadership roles? Sometimes you have your sights set on the perfect opportunity. Other times opportunity knocks when you least expect it. Join us to explore ways to build your resume and discover where to look for your next leadership role.

Session B3: Are You Using Social Media, or is it Using You?; presented by Caitlyn Lamm and Zach Bader
Feeling unsure about the effectiveness of your social media outreach? We’ll review the current social media landscape and show you strategies, tactics and tools to help you elevate your performance. Learn how to pick the social media platform that’s right for you and diversify your digital outreach across channels. We’ll also share how to boost your engagement by paying attention to some of the factors that influence social media algorithms and utilizing targeted social media ads.

Session B4: Look to the Future with a Systems Approach to Achieving Soil and Water Conservation with High-Yield Row Crop Production; presented by Cynthia Bartel, Suzanne Fey, and Sara Lira
Come join a multi-sector team as we explore a systems-level approach to addressing some of the most pressing issues facing production agriculture. Perennial groundcover (PGC) systems consist of an annual row crop grown in association with an ecologically-appropriate perennial groundcover. These PGC systems conserve the natural resources underpinning crop production while enhancing the biological functioning of the soil-plant environment, ultimately leading to both improved soil health and crop productivity. We’ll discuss the PGC system and status; incentives for early adopter leadership; and the Cover Crop Economic Simulator tool that can help you determine the value of cover cropping options on your farm

3:00 pm Networking and Refreshments

3:15 pm Closing Session Capstone Address – Dr. Amani Elobeid

Capstone Address – presented by Dr. Amani Elobeid

Closing Remarks; given by Madeline Schultz and Jade Hargrafen

4:00 pm Program Concludes