Women Impacting Ag
The honorees of the 2021 Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Women Impacting Agriculture award are Marilee Jones and Cindy McCollough.
Women Impacting Agriculture is a recognition program to honor women who are making a positive difference in Iowa’s long-term vibrancy by improving economic resiliency and stability; conserving natural resources; and providing leadership to families, communities, organizations, farm businesses and agribusinesses. The Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Women in Ag Program began the award in 2016 to recognize women for their contributions and to share their inspiring stories. Each year, Extension professionals across the state nominate extraordinary women in agriculture and honorees are selected by a committee.
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. In recent years, she has become more involved with the marketing side of the operation in addition to general accounting needs. Education never ends with so many changes in the industry so Marilee is always willing to learn and adapt to new methods. Marilee is completing her real estate license and hopes to be a resource for women landowners. She is always promoting women in ag and encouraging women and girls to pursue opportunities in agriculture.
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 and her feed mill manager, George, have developed baseline feed for poultry, swine and cattle, among others. They are a custom mill, too. If there’s something a customer wants that is a little different, they can do the formulating and create a feed customized for the end user. All of the feed produced at Blue Stem is certified organic. Cindy and her husband live in the Stratford-Webster City area. They have an acreage and have developed their land for livestock and soil conservation. Cindy serves on the Iowa Organic Board of Directors and is a previous Chair of the ISU Extension and Outreach Hamilton County Extension Council.