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Women In Ag Conference Takes Shape

Women In Ag Conference Takes Shape

Advisory committee focuses on developing programming for female ag leaders in upcoming summit.

Bringing deep industry perspective and knowledge across the value chain of agribusiness and the food sectors, a group of more than 20 women professionals are working together on the national advisory board for a series of Women in Agribusiness Initiatives.

The initiatives include the 2nd Annual Women in Agribusiness Summit in Minneapolis, Minn., this fall; a first-of-its-kind research study on women in the sector; and mentorship and sponsorship opportunities designed to assist the next generation of women in Ag in reaching their full potential in the field.

Advisory committee focuses on developing female ag leaders for upcoming summit.

"These women leaders in Ag have provided valuable insight in the development of conference sessions and research study questions, as well as serving as mentors in our mentorship program," said Joy O'Shaughnessy, director of Women in Agribusiness Initiatives at HighQuest Partners.

"I've worked in agribusiness for 27 years, and while I informally created my own network of women with similar experiences, challenges, and opportunities, the focused efforts of these Women in Agribusiness Initiatives has huge potential for shortening the 'gap time' it takes to build such networks outside of efforts like this," said Ann Hastings Kafer of GROWMARK. Kafer was a speaker at the inaugural Women in Agribusiness Summit in 2012.

For Carol Kitchen, senior vice president/general manager of global ingredients at Land O'Lakes, who has been assisting with the development of content for the 2013 conference in Minneapolis, involvement means providing educational, personal and professional networking opportunities for all levels of participants and creating a resource for learning about new roles and new trends in the sector.

Joining Hastings Kafer and Kitchen on the national advisory board for the Women in Agribusiness Initiatives are a group of executives and professionals from leading food and agricultural organizations. For a complete list of advisory board companies and members, visit

These advisors will convene at the 2nd Annual Women in Agribusiness Summit on October 22-24, 2013 at the Hyatt Regency in Minneapolis, Minn. This forum provides an interactive platform for women to discuss their unique experiences within the industry and hear from women leaders regarding cutting-edge industry trends.

Agenda highlights include: Strategies for Recruiting and Advancing Women in Agribusiness; Developing Women Leaders through Mentoring ; Building an Effective Women in Agribusiness Network; Innovation in Agribusiness: Challenges and Opportunities; and Climate Change: Mitigating Risk and Managing Volatility.

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