Women in Agriculture Are a Big Deal – #AFBF16

Taylor Hillman General

Women in agriculture are a big deal, in part because consumers are eager to get to know them and how they produce food, according to Sherry Saylor, chair of the AFB Women’s Leadership Committee. Saylor, a crop farmer from Arizona, gave her first annual address at the business meeting of the AFB Women, held at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 97th Annual Convention & IDEAg Trade Show.

The WLC is continuing to engage women by offering programs to help them develop their communication and leadership skills, empowering them to continue as strong, effective leaders in agriculture, Saylor said. During her remarks she highlighted program successes such as the popular Women’s Communications Boot Camp, successful collaboration with other groups to achieve common goals related to promoting farming and ranching, and advocating for issues important to Farm Bureau members.

In recognition of the conviction held by many in agriculture that remaining indifferent or uninformed about connecting with consumers is no longer an option for farmers and ranchers, Saylor issued a challenge to attendees for the coming year.

“Stretch and think outside the box – get out of your comfort zones and impact others for the good of our industry,” she said. “You each have a sphere of influence that is unique to your situation,” she added.


Denise “Denny” Hymel of Louisiana, Joan Myers of Pennsylvania, Lillian Ostendorf of Montana and Deb Walsh of Indiana were re-elected to two-year terms on the WLC.

The AFBF delegate body will vote to approve the election of the four members at the conclusion of the organization’s annual meeting.

Our Food Link Grants

Saylor announced the presentation of $500 Our Food Link grants to Indiana Farm Bureau, South Dakota Farm Bureau and York County (South Carolina) Farm Bureau. The winners were chosen based on the overall project plan, innovation and creativity. Our Food Link is a year-round program that county and state Farm Bureaus can use to effectively reach consumers of all ages and backgrounds with information about today’s agriculture.