The risks and opportunities have never been greater in American agriculture. Today’s markets require farmers to implement impeccable farm business practices and stay up to date on the changing managerial landscape. To prepare the nearly 1 million female farmers in the U.S. for the road ahead, Top Producer is proud to offer an event dedicated exclusively to women in agriculture.
The 2016 Executive Women in Agriculture conference will kick off with a welcome reception on Nov. 30 and run through early afternoon on Dec. 2 at the Palmer House Hilton Hotel in downtown Chicago. It will offer women a unique opportunity to hear firsthand from industry experts and network with other like-minded women.
Now in its sixth year, this event continues to feature dynamic keynote speakers and educational breakout sessions, as well as networking opportunities.
Meet just a few of the business-focused and inspirational speakers on the agenda:
Today’s Opportunities for Women in Agriculture
by Alexis Taylor, Foreign Agricultural Services Deputy Under Secretary
Alexis Taylor was delegated her Foreign Agricultural Services (FFAS) duties by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in March 2016. FFAS is comprised of the Farm Service Agency (FSA), Risk Management Agency (RMA), and Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS). FFAS helps to keep America's farmers and ranchers in business as they face the uncertainties of weather and markets.
Before joining USDA, she served as the legislative advisor to Congressman Leonard Boswell of Iowa and Senator Max Baucus of Montana. During her time in Congress, Alexis negotiated key provisions of the 2008 Farm Bill, as well as the Senate version of the 2012 Farm Bill which was ultimately enacted into law as the 2014 Farm Bill.
Alexis served in the United States Army Reserves from 1998 to 2006. During her time in the Reserves she did one tour in Iraq with the 389th Combat Engineer Battalion. Alexis is a graduate of Iowa State University and grew up on her family farm in Iowa which has been in her family for over 150 years.
by Nicole Price, Lively Paradox
Nicole Price believes two things: 1) If leadership is anything, it’s personal 2) Everyone can be a great leader. Her session participants give glowing reviews and often request repeat appearances. She’ll make you laugh; she’ll make you think; she’ll make you better.
Turning Your Dreams Into Reality
by Vivian Howard, Chef, Entrepreneur and TV Star
Born in Deep Run, N.C., to tobacco and hog farming parents, Vivian Howard learned early on to appreciate hard work and the ebb and flow of eating with the seasons. After working for some of the best chefs in New York City, Vivian’s path lead her back home. Vivian and her husband opened Chef & the Farmer, a farm-to-fork restaurant, in the summer of 2006 serving local, seasonal and creative cuisine.
Over the past eight years, Chef Howard has developed strong relationships with farmers, allowing her to source over 70% of the restaurant’s foodstuffs from within 60 miles. Their trials and successes have been documented in the Peabody and Emmy award-winning docu-series, “A Chef’s Life,” which appears on PBS.
My Team is Driving Me Crazy!
by Rena Striegel, Transition Point Business Advisors
Rena Striegel is an internationally recognized business coach and consultant with more than 20 years of experience working directly with farmers, ag leaders, senior executives and entrepreneurs to identify and implement strategies that create growth and profitability. In her role with Transition Point Business advisors, she leads client projects in the areas of strategic planning, business succession and continuity planning and employee/leadership development. A majority of her current clients are large family owned farm operations located throughout the lower 48 states. Rena grew up on a dairy and hog farm in What Cheer, Iowa.
How to Manage Your Debt and Banking Relationships
by Ashley Arrington, AgriAuthority
Ashley Arrington grew up in the state of Georgia, surrounded by everything agriculture. She graduated with a Bachelor’s in Finance and then obtained her Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from Augusta University. Ashley has worked in the banking industry for a decade and now concentrates exclusively on agricultural banking and analysis. She is the founder of AgriAuthority and works as an agricultural analyst and risk management consultant.
Changing Your FarmHer Lens
by Marji Guyler-Alaniz, FarmHer
Marji Guyler-Alaniz is a lifetime Iowan and lover of photography. Through FarmHer, she updates thee image of agriculture by showing the female side of farming, creating a community amongst women in agriculture and outreach to young women interested in agriculture. Her work has been featured in publications ranging from Smithsonian Magazine and most recently was featured on O the Oprah Magazine.
Navigating Landlord Negotiations
by Mykel Taylor, Kansas State University
Mykel Taylor is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics at Kansas State University. She grew up on a cattle ranch in Montana and has worked in extension positions at both Kansas State University and Washington State University. Some of her current research areas include measuring basis risk for commodity grains, understanding the implications of food safety and country of origin labeling on meat demand, and analyzing trends in Kansas agricultural land values, rental rates, and leasing arrangements.
See the full agenda.