Agrible’s Modern Prairie Woman wants to spread holiday cheer this year by giving away a free "Holiday by the Fire" gift basket!
Women in agriculture have come a long way throughout history, now making up 43% of the agricultural labor force in developing countries. We have worked our way from the bottom up, and part of what I love about writing for Modern Prairie Woman is being able to share stories from women of all facets of agriculture in an effort to bridge the divide between men and women farmers.
Krista Lottinville grew up in Iroqouis County on a corn and soybean farm. As a child, she preferred Barbie dolls to tractors - but things have changed over the years and now Krista's professional life includes both farming and seed sales as an Account Manager for Burrus Seeds.
Marji Guyler-Alaniz had recently left her career in corporate Agriculture when she came to a strong realization that women not only in corporate ag, but also production ag, were under-represented or not represented at all in the image of agriculture. The Dodge Ram 2013 Superbowl Ad, ‘God Made a Farmer,’ sparked this realization, and was the moment when Marji decided she could start to make a change in that image.
In the ag industry, and in life in general, it's easy to limit our focus to our own geographical boundaries. Being based in the US farm belt, Modern Prairie Woman thought it would be interesting to showcase what agriculture is like outside of our own geographical area, so we met with Ida Similä, 5th generation grower from Laihai, Finland, to share her story as a woman in agriculture outside of the United States.
As a city girl transplanted to the country, WCIA-TV News Reporter, Erica Quednau, was happy to put down roots here in central Illinois after graduating from the University of Illinois with a degree in Broadcast Journalism. Quednau says she chose Journalism "Because it can take you to so many places" via the interesting stories and locations she experiences on the job.
In science in particular, and in life in general, we meet wonderful people in our studies and our travels, become fast friends with shared passions, share adventures in sweaty soybean fields, late nights with LiCOR 6400s, long runs, and cold drinks - and then we fling ourselves to the far corners of the world to pursue our research.
Jobs in the agriculture industry can take many forms, and Jennifer Shike's is no exception. From judging livestock to building a brand for the University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES), Jennifer Shike has a wealth of experience in the agriculture industry and wears many hats as the current Director of Communications and Marketing for the College of ACES.
If you are thinking about a career in the ag industry, Holly Bauman is the woman to talk to. As Agronomy Training Coordinator for The Equity, she travels extensively doing outreach and recruiting for one of the largest independent agricultural cooperatives in Illinois. The Equity offers a broad range of products to its customer, covering 10,000 square miles.
Angie Setzer, whom many know by her Twitter persona, "The Goddess of Grain," has made an impressive name for herself in the world of agriculture. From her segments on US Farm Report Market Analysis, the Weather Channel, Ag Day, and Iowa Public Television's Market to Market, Setzer makes her living being in the know about grain markets. She has a large Twitter following where she tweets about current market trends, grain trading tips, and amusing updates about her son Kolton, the newest addition to her family.
Being a woman in a male dominated field of agriculture has never been a problem for Kelsey McNamara. Growing up in Colfax, Illinois on a 4th generation corn and soybean farm, Kelsey was used to working in the business, whether it was driving the auger cart after school in her youth or helping with the farm’s feeder calf operation that she currently manages. Growing up in rural central Illinois, she was also very active in showing cattle, and attended many state fairs and national shows.
Keri Richardson has come a long way from showing pigs for 4H in Sullivan, Illinois, and many of the values that she learned while growing up on a farm have served her well in her career as the Illinois Sales Manager for Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) Crop Risk Services Division.
From an early age, Laura Christianson was interested in science and math. She also knew that she wanted to help people, which grew into a passion for the environment. Now, Christianson is a Research Assistant Professor of Water Quality at the University of Illinois, with undergraduate degrees in Biosystems and Ag Engineering, a masters in Ag Engineering, and PhD in Ag Engineering and Sustainable Ag.
When Stephanie Cole was a young girl growing up on a grain and livestock farm in Plainfield, IL, she knew she wanted to work in agriculture; in fact, she even knew that she wanted to work in the seed industry. That kind of laser focus has led Cole to a successful career with Mycogen Seeds division of Dow AgroSciencesas an account rep.
As we have seen through many of our features on Modern Prairie Woman, the world of women in ag is wonderfully diverse. We have met ranchers, urban farmers, flower farmers, chicken keepers, and many more, and today we take a look at another realm ofwomen in the ag industry: Women in Agribusiness. Each week we will be featuring a woman in corporate ag, from on the farm and off, who are dedicating their careers to the future of agriculture.
Anyone who has picked flowers straight from their garden knows the difference between freshly grown flowers and grocery store-bought flowers. They look, smell, and feel more natural and beautiful - because they are! Unfortunately, not all of us have access to the space or time to grow our own flowers, and are left with limited options. Joan Jach is working to change that, and is dedicated to providing her community with locally, sustainably, and freshly grown flowers through her flower farming business, Old Town Flowers.
After missing this year’s Garden Walk and hearing about all of the magnificently elaborate and precisely landscaped garden patches featured this year, I must admit - I was envious. One in particular caught my attention, though, after my colleague and fellow Modern Prairie Woman contributor Dr. B raved about it in her Garden Walk recap. The photos alone were enough to convince me that I had to see this garden for myself, and speak to the woman who has created such a magical-looking oasis all on her own.
My name is Kaity Spangler, and I am a junior at the University of Illinois majoring in Agricultural Education.
So, what's the deal with urban agriculture? I have heard so much, and have been dying to talk to someone involved in the urban ag community to hear their perspective.. I had the pleasure of sitting down with an old classmate from the University of Iowa, and she told me all about her role in urban agriculture, how she got started, and why it is important not only to her, but to many throughout her community and throughout Iowa.
Meet our Prairie Woman of the Month, Rebecca Vasquez:
Agriculture has become this up and coming trend in society. More consumers are asking questions and taking advantage of the resources provided by agriculturalists - knowledge is a powerful resource. One of my greatest joys of working in agriculture is being able to teach others, but also being able to learn from the generation before me. Agriculture is a constant give and take, and if you give to the industry, you'll take away much more. The opportunities I have received during my college career are all from the industry looking out for it's members. I look for educational opportunities every day in my workplace or on the farm to learn new skills or information.