Last week I attended my first-ever Executive Women in Agriculture conference in Chicago, organized by the Farm Journal Top Producer magazine. It was an unforgettable experience!
When my financial officer invited me to join nine other FCSAmerica women (customers and financial officers), I jumped at the chance. Living on a farm in Nebraska, it’s easy to get focused on my own operation. I wanted to see what other people are doing.
The conference was informative, educational and eye-opening. For starters, I had no idea there were so many apps at our fingertips that could really simplify our lives. As an example, I watched a demo of an app that allows us to record planting information on our smartphones – like seed details, dates, field numbers – and then transfer that to spreadsheets.
The seminars were presented in a way that I could relate to, since the speakers were real people who are going through the same farm and family issues that my family is experiencing. When you meet other farm women from across the country, no matter how much our operations vary, we all need to develop good marketing plans, deal with generational issues like transition planning, and avoid burnout when we’re juggling work, kids and the farm.
There were women of all ages at this conference, from their 20s to their 60s. The meeting provided me the opportunity to better my operation as well as myself as an individual. The key is to now share with my team what I’ve learned.
It was an honor to be able to go out and experience Chicago with the FCSAmerica group. I would definitely encourage other women in ag to attend events like this to share and learn from one another.