"Conserving Ag's Future Together" is the theme of the 15th annual Iowa Women in Agriculture Conference to be held Aug. 5 at the FFA Enrichment Center in Ankeny.
The 2021 IWIA conference will explore an array of challenges posed by agriculture's current economic and environmental climate: marketing strategy, climate resilience, global trade agreements, risk management, ag advocacy, cover crops, soil and water quality initiatives, the intersection of animal agriculture and climate, launching an online ag business, and the role of ag women in this dynamic and growing industry.
Carbon and climate
The conference kicks off at 8:15 a.m., and concludes at 5 p.m. Amanda De Jong, Landus Cooperative business unit leader and former Iowa Farm Service Agency executive director, will be the conference’s keynote speaker. She'll highlight how data can help position Iowa farmers to participate in new carbon and soil health programs, and share her experience as the first woman to head the Iowa FSA.
Sue Martin, CEO of AG and Investment Services Inc., a commodity analyst and an Iowa Public Broadcasting “Market to Market” commentator, will offer her perspective and insights on the challenges of today's current marketing environment.
Beth Hall, Indiana state climatologist, Purdue University, will deliver a timely focus on climate trends, outlooks, and the impact of climate on agriculture, with the goal of achieving environmental sustainability and global food security.
During the luncheon, participants will enjoy a give-and-take on their own personal pandemic perspectives titled "What's your New Normal?".
Participants may choose two of the three following afternoon breakout sessions and presenters:
• Angie Treptow, Farm Credit Services of America regional vice-president, east central Iowa, will offer a financial overview, as well as key coping strategies.
• Emily Bruner, American Farmland Trust Midwest science director, and DeAnn Presley, Kansas State University professor of environmental soil science and management, will share the tangible benefits of soil heath improvements.
• Mary Kay Thatcher, Syngenta's senior lead for federal government relations, and a former American Farm Bureau veteran lobbyist, will do a deep dive into the outlook for climate-related legislation and policies, estate and capital gain taxation, the Clean Water Act, H2A worker reform, and other critical issues.
Capstone speaker Amanda Radke, an ag advocate and a fifth-generation rancher from Mitchell, S.D., will wrap up the 2021 conference with an inspiring and motivating message. "We can't eat our way out of climate change," she says. "Cattle, crops and responsible land management complement each other."
A complimentary wine and cheese welcome and networking reception will be held from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Aug. 4 at Prairie Moon Winery in Ames. Katie Olthoff, co-founder of ChopLocal and a former IWIA board member, will share her experiences launching the "Etsy of meat" startup marketplace.
Participants also will have a unique opportunity to attend a preconference tour Aug. 4, hosted by the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Women in Agriculture Program. The tour features the new ISU Poultry Science Farm in Ames and the ISU Horticulture Research Station. Because of COVID-19 restrictions, participants are asked to provide their own transportation. Route information and addresses (along with the reception venue) will be included in tour registration materials.
Early-bird registration is $50 until Aug. 2, and $70 afterward. Registration includes the preconference tour, evening welcome reception, continental breakfast, lunch and snacks. Register online in advance on the website, by mail, or from 7:15 to 8 a.m. the day of the conference. A room block has been set up at the Courtyard by Marriott at 2405 SE Creekview Drive in Ankeny; contact the hotel for a reservation prior to July 14.
Early-bird registration is required for those attending the preconference tour. For questions about the tour, call Madeline Schultz at 515-294-0588.
For conference information, contact IWIA President Cheryl Tevis at 515-353-4425, or visit iowawomeninag.org for a full conference agenda and registration details.
The premier sponsor of the 2021 Iowa Women in Agriculture Conference is Farm Credit Services of America. Additional sponsors include: Corteva Agriscience, Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, Iowa Bankers Association, Iowa Pork Producers Association, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Women in Ag, Iowa Soybean Association, Iowa Cattlemen's Association, and New Cooperative.
IWIA is planning for an in-person conference. For the latest update on any COVID-19 advice and/or precautions impacting the event, visit iowawomeninag.org.