Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Women in Ag Leadership Conference
Meet Dr. Keri Jacobs - Workshop Leader
Dr. Keri Jacobs, an Iowa State University Economics Assistant Professor and Cooperatives Extension Specialist, will be offering a workshop on the evening of Monday Nov. 27 as part of the Women in Ag Leadership Conference.
The session, “Becoming a Board Influencer,” will focus on the role of women in leadership positions, particularly when involving themselves in the cooperative industry.
“My goal for the session is to give women insight into what co-op governance is like, what the roles and responsibilities are, and why it is important for them to become involved in their cooperatives in this way,” Jacobs said.
In the state of Iowa, only 8% of primary farm operators are women. Due to the fact that cooperative boards are constituted of its own members, who often tend to be farm operators, the boards are subsequently composed of more men than women.
“The perspectives that matter to ensure effective boards are not strictly gender driven, but they are driven by diversity. Women in ag, particularly as secondary operators and with significant off-farm experiences can bring valuable perspective to the boardroom of their cooperative. The more diverse your board is, the more diverse your perspective is,” Jacobs said.
Dr. Jacobs has also credited economic prosperity with motivating female agriculturalists to become more involved in the industry, and hopes to see women pursue opportunities under all economic conditions.
“I see more women students at ISU who are not from an ag background, but who want to get involved in ag because they see the growth potential of the industry,” Jacobs said.
The Monday evening workshop will precede the primary conference session that will take place on Tuesday Nov. 28. Those who are interested in attending the conference may register here.