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Celebrate women in agriculture

Today, March 24 is proclaimed as Women in Agriculture Day in Iowa. The statewide celebration is a collaboration between Stine Seed Co., the Iowa FFA Foundation, the Iowa 4-H Program, FarmHer, and the Iowa Office of the Governor. 

But every day is an opportunity to celebrate the work women do, globally, in the industry that feeds the world. One way to do so now is to read Successful Farming interviews with women across multiple sectors in agriculture.

“For the past three years, Stine has proudly partnered with FarmHer, Iowa 4-H Youth Development Program, and Iowa FFA Foundation to elevate women in agriculture. We’re grateful Gov. Kim Reynolds has once again signed a formal proclamation designating a Women in Agriculture Day in Iowa, which will be Thursday, March 24. We’re excited to recognize women from all sectors of the ag industry on this day ­— both locally and nationwide. We encourage everyone to join in the celebration,” says Ann Clinton, communications manager, Stine Seed Company.

Cortney Wagner

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Cortney Wagner is a first-generation rancher in Montana and the first woman appointed to the CHS board of directors.

She and husband Jeff raise Black Angus cattle and quarter horses, as well as grass and alfalfa in Big Horn County, Montana.

In this article, Wagner talks about life on the ranch and her new role as a board member.

Jackie Applegate

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Jackie Applegate now navigates the corporate boardroom world, as president of Bayer’s Crop Science division in North America and a member of Bayer’s crop science executive leadership team. Twenty-nine years ago, though, she started out wearing a hard hat and a pair of Levi’s working in process development in one of Bayer’s Missouri production facilities.

“Farmers are the salt of the earth, and they have a large responsibility. They’re trying to get the greatest yield out of every acre because their grains and produce feed the world. As a company, our greatest mission is about health for all and hunger for none, and improving through our technology the quality of people’s lives,” says Applegate.

Alex Templeton

Alex Templeton stands behind the bed of a Can-Am UTV full of fencing supplies on her farmily's Midwest ranch
Photo credit: Austin Thomas

Alex Templeton is a third-generation farmer rancher caring for cattle and crops in Iowa and Missouri.

“It’s always been a dream of mine to work alongside my family, own my own ground, and own my own cows. One step at a time, I’m making those goals happen and checking those things off my bucket list.”

With social media and a good sense of humor, Templeton shares it all. “I think there’s a little bit of a stereotype that you have to marry someone in agriculture, as a woman. Or that you can’t do it by yourself. It’s often a husband and wife type of gig, and I love that. But, I’m unmarried, have no kids, and I bought my own farm and I have my own cows.”

Nicole Atchison

Nicole Atchison

As CEO of PURIS Holdings, Nicole Atchison is working toward a "plant-strong planet.”

She says, “We’re building a system to grow and manufacture foods in this market at home. We’re revitalizing plants in rural communities – a lot of times in farming communities – using those assets and transforming them to make a new product and to bring jobs back.”

Revital Kremer

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Revital Kremer is leading the charge for ag-tech to help farmers overcome water scarcity as climate change continues to challenge growing conditions around the world.

“When I came to SupPlant in 2020, I felt for the first time I have a chance to not only develop software, but to create something that has an impact on the world,” Kremer says. “My mission is to develop cutting edge technology in agriculture; sophisticated solutions enabled in a simple way.”

READ MORE: Q&A: Revital Kremer, chief technology officer at SupPlant

Sheryl Wallace

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As president of North America Grain, she leads Cargill’s grain business in the United States and Canada.

“I am so proud of what our team has accomplished, our ability to continue putting food on tables, and how we’ve navigated the pandemic. Cargill has also put a strong focus on providing mental health support and resources — one more way we are putting people first. Personally, as a working mom, I’ve been able to use my experience of being a caregiver during the pandemic to be a voice for others. I’m also focusing on the silver linings. We’ve had more family time, are getting pretty good at pivoting (changing plans), and are more grateful for the simpler things in life,” Wallace says.

“As we observe Women’s History Month and National Agriculture Week, we recognize women who were pioneers in their respective fields,” says Senator Joni Ernst. “Women have always played leading roles in American agriculture, from farming and research to agricultural education and agribusiness. This week, I invite all Americans to join me in celebrating National Women in Agriculture Day.”

Join the Women in Agriculture Day in Iowa celebration by sharing your ag stories on social media using the hashtag #TogetHER4Ag.

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