Wednesday, November 29 to Thursday, November 30, 2023
Gateway Hotel and Conference Center, Ames, Iowa



Click on the days below to view the schedule

Nov 29
12:00 pm Onsite Check-in Begins

Networking and Refreshments

1:00 pm Gathering

Opening Remarks – Krista Downing and Madeline Schultz
Tour attendees gather with Committee Hosts

1:00 pm Concurrent Session A: Iowa State University and Community Tours

Tour A1: City of Ames Water Treatment Plant
Committee Host – Julia Brenizer
Tour Presenter – Calvin Forte, Superintendent

Explore the history of the City of Ames Water Treatment Plant and its construction, the collection of groundwater by a network of wells, treatment of water for human consumption, pumping water into the distribution system, and the management of residual solids generated through the process. Providing water treatment to more than 18,000 consumers, the water distribution system consists of more than 248 miles of mains and supports 2,785 hydrants for fire protection.

Tour A2: ISU Bessey Hall Pohl Conservatory and Horticulture Hall Greenhouse
Committee Host – Sara Lira
Tour Presenters – Pete Lawlor and Kenny McCabe, Greenhouse Managers

Discover what the greenhouses on-campus have to offer! Encompassing over 12,000 square feet of growing space, the Bessey Hall Greenhouse and Pohl Conservatory house a plant collection of numerous plant species for research programs and projects. The Horticulture Hall Greenhouse covers 10,400 square feet and is used for a variety of purposes, including research and instructional demonstrations. The greenhouses are equipped with state-of-the art environmental control and innovative production systems.

Tour A3: ISU Balloun Turkey and Hamilton Poultry Teaching and Research Farms
Committee Host – Janette Smith
Tour Presenters – Courtney Edwards, Jessica Seward, Tanner Volkmann, Farm Managers

The hallmarks of the Robert T. Hamilton Poultry Teaching and Research Farm include dedicated spaces for teaching and research. A welcome center features one-way viewing glass where tour participants can see first-hand examples of Iowa egg production systems. Opened in spring 2020, the new poultry barn supports the number-one-egg-producing state in the nation. The Stanley L. Balloun Turkey Teaching and Research Facility was opened in the spring of 2022, becoming the only facility of its kind focused on turkey production at a major university. The facility provides students with state-of-the-art equipment for research that addresses current challenges and helps advance Iowa’s turkey industry which ranks 7th in the nation.

Tour A4: ISU Meats Laboratory and Consumer Experience
Committee Host – Rylee Sloss
Tour Presenter – Matt Wenger, Program Coordinator

Experience the state-of-the-art meat laboratory with a complete on-the-rail slaughter facility, meat processing equipment, analytical laboratory, and a retail sales outlet for meat products produced during teaching, research, and extension activities. You’ll also be given the opportunity to participate in an interactive session on meat grading and labeling. Close-toed shoes are required.

Tour A5: ISU Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory
Committee Host – Kiley Allan
Tour Presenter – Katie Woodard, DVM, Client Services Section Leader

The ISU Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory is a national leader in protecting animal and human health. Experience what this fully accredited facility by the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians provides using world-class technology, including quality diagnostic and analytical services for animal species.

3:45 pm General Session One

Garden Room

Afternoon Remarks –Lisa Scarbrough and Rylee Sloss
Opening Speaker: Cultivating Confidence in Your Roles and Harvesting the Ripple Effect – Andrea Flemming, That Fit Agvocate

It’s incredibly easy to get placed into a role that you do not love, but feel like you have to be in. There is often so much going on that the goal is to just keep moving forward. You deserve to be in a role that brings you JOY. Finding the zone(s) of excellence and zone(s) of happiness builds the confidence that will flow into all areas of your life as a woman in agriculture, which in turn can pour into those around you and into the next generation. This session will keep it real and cultivate honest conversations with ourselves to really dig deep into what is in our core.

5:00 pm Concurrent Session B: Intensive Workshops

Session B1: Legacy Stories of Leasing, Conservation and Succession (South Prairie Room)
Committee Host – Melissa O’Rourke
Session Moderators: Catherine DeJong, ISU Water Quality Program; Kitt Tovar Jensen, ISU Center for Ag Law and Taxation; Melissa O’Rourke, Dry Creek Acres Dairy Goats, Attorney
Guest Speakers: Emily Boettcher, Boettcher Farms, Northwest Seed; Monica Lursen, Lursen Farms, Lursen Trucking; and Amy Tlach, Tlach Farm, Mid-Iowa Seed

Leasing, conservation, and succession or transition planning are three important farmland management tasks that can help women leave a legacy and achieve their goals. In this conversational workshop, three women will share their experiences as farmland owners or aspiring farmland owners, and three women will share their knowledge as Extension professionals supporting women with management decisions. The audience will get the chance to ask questions in small groups and engage in meaningful conversations about farmland ownership. Management guides will be provided.

Session B2: Generations of Wisdom (Cardinal & Gold Rooms)
Committee Hosts – Debbie Kassel and Rylee Sloss
Guest Speakers: Emma Aljets, Farm Credit Services of America; Lauren Botine, Channel Seed; Courtney Fara, Pioneer Seed; and Stephanie Vinton-Pollock, Farm Credit Services of America

We can learn so much about our agricultural careers from every generation. Listen as two pairs of women representing beginning and established career stages interview each other and reveal insights that can guide all of us in our career journey. You’ll have the opportunity to be part of small group interviews where you can ask the difficult questions as well as share your own hard-earned wisdom. Through personal stories and reflection, you’ll leave the workshop feeling more inspired and confident in your career goals. All ages welcome!

Session B3: Real Colors, Real Leadership (Meadow Rooms)
Committee Host: Chelsea Llewellyn
Guest Speaker: Lori Korthals, ISU Senior Manager Human Science

Join us for a fun workshop where you’ll reflect on your natural leadership preferences and define what leadership is to you. Start by evaluating your leadership strengths, then build on these through group activities. You’ll practice ways to make sure your voice is heard and inspires action. Learn what other Real Colors need to feel successful and empowered. After the workshop, you’ll use this knowledge to create a personal leadership plan that capitalizes on your natural abilities and your goals. Participants will receive a Real Leadership® workbook to take home.

Session B2: Market Your Grain and Cattle with Experience (Harvest Room)
Committee Hosts: Sharon Chism, Janette Smith, and Alexis Stevens
Guest Speaker: Lynn Martz, Larson Family Farms

We’re often asked how farm women manage the job of marketing grain. Our guest speaker, Lynn Martz, is an Illinois farmer and experienced grain and cattle marketer. She will share her day-to-day tips and tools, and help the audience understand what information is important to pay attention to. To round out the workshop, the committee hosts will engage the audience in activities to help everyone think through grain marketing decisions and provide local resources. Bring your questions!

7:00 pm Networking Dinner

Committee Welcome – Krista Downing and Luci Sheriff

Dinner (Pasta Bar with penne, chicken breasts and beef meatballs, marinara and alfredo, Caesar salad, rum cake and chocolate cake)
Networking Activity – Kiley Allan and Rylee Sloss

8:00 pm Social Hour

Iowa Stater Restaurant

Refreshments (snack mix, non-alcoholic beverages on tab / if desired, alcoholic beverages are available for purchase)

Nov 30
7:30 am Onsite Check-in Begins

Networking and breakfast (beverages, Healthy Choice Buffet, scrambled eggs, toast, fruit, yogurt, granola)

8:30 am General Session Two

Opening Remarks – Krista Downing and Madeline Schultz
University Welcome – Jamie Benning, Assistant Director, Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension and Outreach
Keynote: Telling Agriculture’s Story from the Nation’s Capital and Beyond – Sara Wyant, Founder and President, Agri-Pulse Communications

Agri-Pulse Editor Sara Wyant talks about how growing up on an Iowa farm helped shaped her perspectives on the need to inject science-based and “shoe leather” journalism while covering politics and policy decisions that impact everyday life.

Women Impacting Ag Recognition
– Marilee Jones and Lisa Scarbrough Honorees: Kellie Blair, Blair Farm, LLC; Melissa O’Rourke, Dry Creek Acres Dairy Goats, Attorney; Meredith Nunnikhoven, Barn Swallow Flowers; and Joanne Roepke Bode, Bode Moonlight Gardens, Bode Farm

We are excited to honor four amazing women who are who are making positive changes and creating a more sustainable Iowa by improving economic resiliency and stability; conserving natural resources; and being influential agricultural leaders, family members, and community leaders. We’ll highlight their accomplishments through videos and each honoree will share her story, goals, and encouragement for other women in agriculture.

10:45 am Concurrent Session C: Breakouts

Session C1: We Don’t Have a Farm Bill: Why It Matters to You  (South Prairie Room-Repeated)
Committee Hosts: Kylie Rosanke and Ann Wolf
Guest Speaker: Sara Wyant, Agri-Pulse Communications

The current farm bill, which covers everything from farm programs to nutrition and even broadband, expired at the end of September. In this session, Agri-Pulse Editor Sara Wyant has an update on why a new farm bill is important to farmers and ranchers across the country, how it could change in 2024 and how to have impact on potential reforms.

Session C2: Effective Branding Starts with Finding your Voice (Cardinal & Gold Rooms)
Committee Hosts: Kiley Allan and Chinwendu Ozoh
Guest Speaker: Andrea Flemming, That Fit Agvocate

When it comes to branding and business success, knowing your WHY and finding your authentic voice is key. You can have all of the tactical tips and best marketing strategies, but without a strong why and confidence in sharing this, your business and brand will not see the full potential of its’ success. We’ll break down branding in the sense of what makes you, YOU, and find that inner voice to share.

Session C3: Advancing in Your Career (Meadow Rooms)
Committee Hosts: Sara Lira
Guest Speaker: Laura Blomme, Hedlin Ag Enterprises

As an executive recruiter, guest speaker Laura Blomme is passionate about the agricultural industry and the people that work in it. She offers career guidance and shares how to increase your opportunities for advancement and leadership in agribusiness.

Session C4: Empowering the Next Generation of Family Agribusiness Business (Harvest Room)
Committee Host: Chelsea Llewellyn
Guest Speaker: Chris Cornelius, Cornelius Seed

Working with family members and transitioning a business to the next generation takes conscientious work. It can mean a steep learning curve for all generations. The beginning generation needs to pay their dues while the established generation needs to  give them an opportunity to buy into the business. Chris shares her family’s story of passing the family seed business to the 5th generation while growing family harmony.

12:00 pm Lunch and Leadership Panel

Lunch (Classic Lunch Buffet, tomato and cucumber salad, Raspberry Chipotle Pork, Mahi Mahi Romesco, broccoli, cheddar mashed potatoes, apple pie, cherry pie)
Committee Welcome – Debbie Kassel and Ann Wolf

Women Leading Agricultural Organizations Panel

Leadership panel moderated by Kiley Allan with guests Trish Cook – President, Iowa Pork Producers Association, Shelly Kruse – Chair, Agribusiness Association of Iowa, and Jolene Riessen – President, Iowa Corn Growers Association

We are 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.

2:00 pm Concurrent Session D: Breakouts

Session D1: We Don’t Have a Farm Bill: Why It Matters to You (South Prairie Room-Repeated)
Committee Hosts: Sharon Chism and Chinwendu Ozoh
Guest Speaker: Sara Wyant, Agri-Pulse Communications

The current farm bill, which covers everything from farm programs to nutrition and even broadband, expired at the end of September. In this session, Agri-Pulse Editor Sara Wyant has an update on why a new farm bill is important to farmers and ranchers across the country, how it could change in 2024 and how to have impact on potential reforms.

Session D2: Financing Business Start-ups (Cardinal & Gold Rooms)
Committee Host: Alexis Stevens
Finance panel moderated by Julia Brenizer with guests Mikayla Mooney – KinoSol, Katie Olthoff – ChopLocal, and Shelby Smith – Gym-N-Eat Crickets

You’ve got a unique agricultural business idea, but how do you bring together enough financial resources to make it all work? In this session, our panelists will share how they developed business plans and budgets, partnered with others, applied for business grants, competed for investor funds, accessed loans, and sought out advice. They’ll talk about what it means to be self-employed and how they manage business risk. Celebrate the success of these entrepreneurs while gaining an understanding of what it took to get them there.

Session D3: Conflict Imagery: Developing a Reflective Framework (Meadow Rooms)
Committee Host: Melissa O’Rourke
Guest Speaker: Kiley Fleming, Iowa Mediation Services

Experiencing conflict is a natural part of living, and developing language around these thoughts and feelings allows people to engage with conflict in more meaningful and productive ways.  Kiley’s passion is to help people reach their fullest potential through reflective practices that encourage self-awareness. Her book, Conflict Imagery: Developing a Reflective Framework, helps readers authentically name their internal scripts in tangible ways.  Through the practice of identifying personal metaphors and images to convey internal belief systems, the creation of shared understanding among parties can form.

Session D4: Women and Financial Security (Harvest Room)
Committee Host: Marilee Jones

Women can struggle to build their own financial security. As family needs arise, women’s savings are often the first to dwindle. Other situations can make it hard for women to build financial security such as partners taking on a more business risk, or women’s need/desire to step out of the workforce to care for family members. Yet women are vulnerable to financial difficulties incurred through divorce, death, debt, disasters and more. Learn why planning for your personal financial security is important and be encouraged with practical advice, tools, and tips you can take home and use.

3:15 pm General Session Three

Capstone: Harvesting Happiness with 20 Years of Annie’s Project – Ruth Hambleton, Annie’s Project – Education for Farm Women
Closing Remarks and Door Prizes – Madeline Schultz and Luci Sheriff

In 2003, Ruth Hambleton created an Annie’s Project course to teach farm women how to use a financial spreadsheet, understand grain contracts, and so much more. She invited educators to join her in teaching agricultural risk management skills to women and freely gave the program to others. As a result, more than 19,000 women from 38 states were empowered to become better farm business owners and managers. Ruth’s journey has taken her to the White House and led her to founding a charitable organization to continue to support women in agriculture.

4:00 pm Program Concludes