Women Bring Fresh Face to Farms

02:06AM Jan 09, 2013
Exec Women in Ag
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More than 200 women from across the country convened in Chicago last month to focus on the future of their farm business. They represented diverse segments of agriculture, including specialty crops, agribusiness, grain and livestock.

In a survey of attendees, 68% listed risk management and profitability as one of their top concerns on the farm, along with opportunity for growth and succession planning.

Topics covered included everything from "Managing Margins for Profit," with Top Producer’s Business Matters columnist Chris Barron, to "Taking It to the Hill," with Annette Sweeney, Iowa House Representative. Attendees came for different reasons, but the value derived was similar for each.

"It’s so good to be able to share information and make contacts with others who might be in the same situation as you," said Kathy Reinhardt, a Seaton, Ill., farmer who attended the event. "You’re a little more open when it’s not just your neighbor, and you can learn from others’ situations."

Joan French of De Land, Ill., said it’s useful to have a benchmark. "It helps you compare your operation and determine what you can do better and what you can do next," she said. Many attendees echoed these remarks.

More than 25% of the women in attendance are responsible for their farm’s commodity marketing, while 65% are charged with record keeping. More information from EWA, applicable to all genders, is featured throughout this issue and marked with the conference logo. Additional content and conference coverage is available online at www.TopProducer-Online.com.

Thank you to our EWA sponsors:

Agrotain, BASF, Bayer CropScience, Case IH, Dow AgroSciences, Farm Credit, Monsanto America’s Farmers Mom of the Year, DuPont Pioneer, SFP, Top Third Ag Marketing, Water Street Solutions