During a recent luncheon, I found myself sitting at a table
surrounded by incredible leaders in the agriculture industry. I listened to them
as they talked about ways to improve ag education and how to reach out to the
The table was full of trailblazers in the ag industry — and
the coolest part? All of them were women.
I was honored to be among such visionaries. Just hearing
their ideas inspired me to be a better professional. The icing on the cake was
when I saw Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann look around and say, “This is the future of
She was talking to the other leaders at the table, she was
talking to policy makers and she was talking to me.
I guess I’d never thought of it before. I get along well
with farmers and never felt out of place as a woman in the ag industry.
But as I looked around the room, every other table was full
of mostly men in formal suits. The agriculture industry is traditionally
dominated by men, and it is obvious when you go to any meeting.
I don’t think there is anything wrong with this. I just
think it is refreshing to see more and more women rising up as leaders.
Women add a splash a color — and I don’t just mean
stylewise, although Ellspermann was rocking a bright blue business dress.
We offer new ideas, fresh perspectives. I really think
having women involved in the ag industry balances the scene and springs us
forward into the future.
All of the people involved in the ag community are
inspiring. Their passion, their drive, makes me want to be the best I can be.
Ellspermann probably never will know how one sentence she
said affected my life, but I am nonetheless grateful for her inspiration.