Iowa Agri-Women "Get in the Know" 

November 11, 2016

Iowa Agri-Women

The fourth annual Iowa-Agri Women, Get in the Know 2016, fall conference was held November 10th in Iowa Falls. The purpose of Iowa Agri-Women is to bring together a coalition of farm, ranch, and agribusiness women in the State of Iowa to discuss issue alerts, policies, and hot button topics.

President, Annette Sweeny, said, “We will be learning about nutrition and GMOs, policy issues, global markets, and how to blog by a journalist.”

Topics and presentations were provided by speakers of all backgrounds. Dr. Ruth MacDonald, professor and chair of the Food Science and Human Nutrition Department at Iowa State University, began the program by sharing with conference participants the latest finds in the science of nutrition and biotech commodities with her talk “The Truth about Nutrition of GMOs. Chris Gruenhagen, Iowa Farm Bureau, reviewed policies on the local and national level. Kelvin Liebold discussed global markets centering on China and Brazil and Darcy Maulsby, a journalist, ag advocate, and writer delved into her “Top 10 secrets of Social Media, and how to successfully operate a blog.”

“Become the voice people want to hear,” says Maulsby

During lunch, our own Madeline Schultz, ISUEO WIA, presented  about the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Women in Ag Program. 

Women in Ag are shifting the norms.

“When yet another salesperson stops in my barn where I am working, and asks to speak to my father or husband, I know that women in agriculture are not yet fully valued for all of their contributions to the industry,” Lorilee Schultz, IL Dairy Farmer.

Madeline reviewed women’s historical roles, roles today, and closing the leadership gap. Agriculture is benefiting from women leaders who manage complex farm businesses, serve on local, regional and state boards, innovative food production and conversation methods, contribute to agribusinesses and ag service industries, and teach the next generation.

Recognizing that women still have a gap to close has provided us the opportunity to partner with Iowa women in ag programs around the state. Working together as we continue to shift the norms of agriculture. 

Get involved with Iowa Agri-Women by connecting with them on Facebook @IowaAgriWomen or by emailing them at

Mark your calendars for the annual "Iowa Agri-Women Capitol Hill Visit" in Des Moines on February 7.

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