Women in Agriculture Seminar Series This Week

Taylor Hillman General

harden-bioThe Women in Agriculture seminar series is this week at the World Ag Expo in Tulare, California. The series is presented and organized by the California Chapter of Women in Agriculture for Mentoring and Empowerment (WAME) and focuses on several aspects of agricultural issues and careers. Several industry leaders are scheduled to speak, including USDA Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden and California Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross.

“We’re very excited to have this series this year, to not only take a closer look at what it means to be a women in agriculture, but also to help them along their career path,” said WAME California president and seminar organizer Pamela Sweeten. “We’ve brought together speakers and topics that will touch on many aspects of the industry and be valuable to the attendees.”

The series starts Wednesday, February 10, at 9:30 a.m. with a look at agriculture careers. Speakers for the first seminar are Lynn Figone, Executive Director, Ag Against Hunger; Dr. Marit Arana, PhD., PAS, Displ. ACAN, Animal Nutritionist, A.L. Gilbert; April Mackie, President, AM AG Consultants (Regulatory); and Cynthia Klein, President, CK Solutions (Food Safety). They will discuss their careers and how they’ve become successful in them.

At 10:30 a.m., Media expert Sabrina Hill of the AgNet West Radio Network will discuss how you can better communicate what you do to share the truth about agriculture. In the seminar Reaching a New Level of Consumer Understanding, she will discuss how to combat the misinformation that is constantly fed to the public and how to conduct a media interview while keeping yourself protected.

A special networking lunch follows at 11:30 with the founders of My Job Depends on Ag. Tickets are required for the lunch and can be purchased online at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2495169.

At 2:00 p.m., the seminar looks at The Future of Ag, with a special panel including USDA Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Krysta Harden; CDFA Secretary Karen Ross; and Tulare County Agriculture Commissioner Marilyn Kinoshita. They will discuss the intricate roles of women in agriculture and what they see for the future of the industry. A networking mixer will follow the session.

Thursday, February 11 will focus on students in agriculture. At 9:30 a.m., students hear from Stacy Whitener, Chief Administrative Officer, Pecan Grove Farms; and Charlene McLauchlan, District Sales Manager, Elanco Animal Health. They will discuss how to find a mentor that’s right for their career path.

At 10:30 a.m. is the Not Just Cows and Plows session. A panel will discuss various ag-related careers and how to get started in them. Speakers include; Britney Muller, Agribusiness Department, Citizens Business Bank; and Ashley Bandoni, Sales Representative, Syngenta.

The Women in Ag for Mentoring and Empowerment Lunch is at 11:30, Thursday. Students and prospective mentors will connect over lunch, with an opportunity to build future mentoring relationships.

Wrapping up the seminar series at 2:00 p.m. Thursday is Effective Lobbying for Agriculture with speakers Shannon Grove, Assemblywoman; Roger Isom, Western Ag Processors Association; Annette Sweeney Iowa State Representative, Ag Chair will be replacing Brown. They will discuss why it is important to lobby for agriculture and explain how to go about it. A networking mixer follows the session.

With the exception of the networking lunch, all seminars are free to attend with your paid admission to the World Ag Expo. The seminars are all scheduled for Seminar Trailer 3.