(Posted Wed. Mar 18th, 2015)
Although increasingly more women have pursued careers in agriculture over the past decade, today they still account for just 14 percent of farm operators. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Krysta Harden hopes to change that with a new mentoring initiative aimed at getting more women involved in agriculture and cultivating future female industry leaders.
The Women in Agriculture Mentoring Network, announced in February, was created to support and engage women in all areas across agriculture and foster connections between people with shared backgrounds, interests, and professional goals. National Corn Growers Association Past President Pam Johnson applauded the Deputy Secretary’s efforts.
“Deputy Harden has always been a champion for women throughout her career, and I am excited about this new initiative as a way to bring more women into the fold,” said Johnson, an Iowa farmer and the first female president of NCGA.
“I have benefitted from having strong mentors, and I have been a mentor to some amazing women through NCGA’s Common Ground program. We have a responsibility to empower current and next generation women leaders. My hope is that the Women in Agriculture Mentoring Network will provide resources, encouragement, and that extra push for women to get more involved,” said Johnson.
Women can join the network by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Individuals are also encouraged to use #womeninag to share stories, pictures, and videos of women in agriculture on social media.
Johnson encouraged women to get involved with their state corn grower boards and committees. “Women will play a large role in the future of agriculture, and getting involved at the state level is a great first step for those seeking a leadership role.”