‘Team Ag’: Women leaders air concerns

Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch (from left), state Sen. Jean Leising, state Rep. Melanie Wright and Julia Wickard, assistant commissioner and agricultural liaison at Indiana Department of Environmental Management, take part in a panel discussion.

INDIANAPOLIS – The Agribusiness Council of Indiana hosted the second session of its Women of Indiana Agribusiness seminar on June 7.

Women involved in politics and ag business, including Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch, took part in a discussion about agriculture.

“This program is designed to promote personal and professional growth and to facilitate networking opportunities for women in the agribusiness industry,” said Amy Cornell, president of ACI.

Here are a few highlights from the discussion:

‘Team Ag’: Women leaders air concerns

“Women that are successful have to bring on other women. We don’t do a very good job of that. We’re very good at collaborating. But those women who are successful in agriculture need to encourage and mentor other women. Eighteen percent of the Senate in Indiana is female. Women are 52% of the electoral, yet we have only 25% nationally and under 20% in Indiana in our General Assembly. So, whether it’s in agriculture or whether it’s in politics, women should be equally represented.”

‘Team Ag’: Women leaders air concerns

“Legislatively, we have to try and support agriculture — not suppress agriculture. The truth is, we don’t want to suppress all animal agriculture in Indiana. But there are people out there that would like to do that because they don’t want the odor of a hog, dairy or poultry farm.”

‘Team Ag’: Women leaders air concerns

“I’ve found that agriculture is something we can all get around. It’s a very bipartisan committee. But I also think we have great ag leaders in the statehouse … That example of leadership, of including everybody at the table and getting everybody’s input, is so incredibly important.”

‘Team Ag’: Women leaders air concerns

“I’ve found bipartisanship to be so unique in the agricultural community. We coined a term many years ago, early in my career, called Team Ag. Because agriculture does work together. And when there’s an outlier, folks know it.”

Erica Quinlan can be reached at 800-426-9438, ext. 193, or equinlan@agrinews-pubs.com. Follow her on Twitter at: @AgNews_Quinlan.

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