Networking Meets Education

October 7, 2017 06:31 AM
EWA 2016

Women make up more than 30% of America’s farm operators. To help this growing segment of farm CEOs, leaders, partners and entrepreneurs, Top Producer is proud to host the seventh annual Executive Women in Agriculture (EWA) conference.

Attendees will hear dynamic keynote presentations, learn during tactical breakout sessions and network with more than 200 female peers from 30 states.

This year’s conference kicks off at 2 p.m. CDT on Wednesday, Nov. 29 and runs through 11:30 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 1. Early bird registration is available at a rate of $280 through Nov. 15. The standard rate is $355. Students can register for $195.

The keynote and kickoff speaker for the event is Steph Davis, a world-renowned rock climber and wingsuit base jumper. Davis will share the lessons she’s learned in the air and how they are useful in the business world.

Speakers will address topics vital to row-crop, specialty-crop and livestock producers. Purdue University’s Nicole Widmar will discuss modern ag trends that are affecting your farm business. Polly Dobbs, owner of Dobbs Legal Group, will share practical tips and strategies to develop farm succession plans. Breakout sessions will cover topics such as consumer perceptions, leadership through change, how to combat conflict, farm finances and long-term care considerations.

Back by popular demand is a live taping of the “U.S. Farm Report” Marketing Roundtable hosted by Tyne Morgan. It will feature Pro Farmer’s Julianne Johnston, Stewart-Peterson’s Naomi Blohm and Citizens Grain’s Angie Setzer. 

Why Female Farm CEOs Are On The Rise

The number of women CEOs at Fortune 500 companies reached a historic high this June. Farming operations will follow suit, predicts Sarah Beth Aubrey, founder of A.C.T., Aubrey Coaching & Training, a leadership training and executive coaching firm, and EWA speaker. Here’s why:

Level Of Education: Women have received as many or more college degrees in agriculture as men since about 2009, according to the National Center for Educational Statistics.

Quality Of Life: Rural areas offer reprieve. “Educated young women today seek a balance of career and family and don’t necessarily believe that an hour commute each day to work is worthwhile,” Aubrey says.

Fewer Blind Spots: For farmers who have traditionally handled the day-to-day operations, it can be challenging to look at the farm holistically, Aubrey notes. As a result, new and different viewpoints add value. 

Advocacy: Female farmers tend to possess more strengths than men in areas such as advocacy, Aubrey says. “Today, that is already important,” she says. “Going forward, it’s mission critical. The ability to negotiate and advocate on behalf of the business will be vital for operations.”

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