By Kiley Allan, Student Intern | November 10, 2022
A love for agriculture and a passion for leadership are two things Cleo has in common with the Women in Ag Leadership Conference attendees. Despite growing up in the inner city of Chicago, IL., Franklin's passion for agriculture was cultivated at a young age. Both his parents were raised on farms, and Cleo spent a great deal of time visiting his grandparents during the summer months of his youth.
Paying homage to his parents, Cleo says they molded him to be the person he is today. His father and his mother taught him lessons in resourcefulness and grit. Franklin channels these lessons as profound messages in his books, "Coffee with Cleo" and "Lessons Learned from our Mothers and Fathers". He also incorporates these values when he speaks at corporate events and conferences across the globe.
Cleo is an acclaimed author and former ag executive of John Deere, Mahindra, and Case-New Holland, as well as influential board member for several non-profit organizations and new business ventures. He is a member of the Annie's Project national board of directors and is proud of the women's empowerment mission of the board. Cleo founded Morningside University's "Franklin Leadership Foundation" and has won numerous awards, including the Honorary American FFA Degree, for his dedication to future generations of agriculturalists.
The sixth annual Women in Ag Leadership Conference is an opportunity for women to come together to enhance their leadership skills and ignite their passion for agriculture with an exciting roster of prestigious speakers. Cleo's capstone message is powerful and aligns with the conference theme, 'Together We Lead'. He will share his thoughts on the power of collaboration, the strength of networks, and the importance of leadership.