Women in Ag Leadership Conference
Generations of Leadership

December 3, 2019 | Ames, Iowa

women attending previous leadership conference

The conference activities are sure to replenish your spirit and deepen your aspirations to lead within your family and across the global agricultural industry. The conference advisory committee designed this event around three major goals: For attendees to take home and carry with them:

  1. A belief in themselves and the power of life-long learning
  2. Connections with other women that inspire their leadership journey
  3. New skills that enhance their leadership on and off the farm

"Women work in, manage and own complex farms and agribusinesses in Iowa. We know how much you accomplish every day. That is why we are especially pleased to offer this opportunity for rest and renewal as you share, network and learn with others."



December 3, 2019

Registration 8:00 am. Program 9:00 am - 4:00 pm.


Scheman Building, Iowa State University
1805 Center Drive, Ames, IA 50011

Free parking is available in designated lots surrounding the Scheman Buildling.


For additional program information, presentation descriptions and speaker bios please view the printable conference program.

Monday, December 2, 2019Print the program

6:30 pm - 8:30pm An informal gathering and networking opportunity is will be held at the Iowa Stater Restaurant private dining room at the Gateway Hotel and Conference Center. Light snacks and soda will be provided. You may order dinner or bar drinks off the menu on your own. No registration is required and you do not need to stay at the hotel to attend the gathering.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

8:00 am Registration and on-site checkin opens
  Networking and refreshments
General session 1
9:00 am Opening remarks - Madeline Schultz, program manager, Women in Agriculture, Iowa State University
  Welcome - Ebby Luvaga, associate professor, Economics, Iowa State University

Path of Purpose-Driven Leadership - Amy te Plate-Church, Director of Account Services, Look East

Generation after generation, women in rural America have blazed a trail – within their communities, family businesses and the ag world. Explore how women can and will continue to serve the greater good, in concert and harmony with the individual purpose that drives each of us. In today’s hyper-connected and over- scheduled world, how do leaders feel balance? Who will step forward as the next leaders in rural Iowa, on family farms and in agribusiness? How can we each be more purposeful in mentoring a younger generation? In this time when agriculture is facing tremendous challenge and opportunity, contemplate these questions and the unique path forward for women of all generations.


Women Impacting Agriculture Recognition

  • Hannah Breckbill, Farmer, Humble Hands Harvest, Winneshiek County
  • Beth Grabau, Executive Director, Veterans in Agriculture, Polk County
  • Jordan Hansen, Marketing Manager, Hansen Dairy, Black Hawk County
  • Rose Kastner, Farmer, Kastner Farms, Guthrie County
  • Liz Kolbe, Horticulture and Habitats Program Manager, Practical Farmers of Iowa, Story County
  • Monica Lursen, Farmer, Lursen Farms and Lursen Trucking, LLC, Butler County
Iowa State University Extension and Outreach honors these women for creating a more sustainable Iowa by improving economic resiliency and stability; conserving natural resources; and being influential agricultural leaders, family members and community volunteers. Through their personal stories and photos, we hope to create a deeper appreciation for the significant and wide-ranging roles of women in agriculture.
10:30 am Networking and refreshments
10:45 AM Concurrent Session A (select one)

1. Succession Planning Takes Leadership - Rena Striegel, President, Transition Point Business Advisors

Succession planning is not often described as fun, quick or easy. It takes time, patience and most importantly, leadership. Whether you are the exiting or entering generation, it is important to know how to demonstrate leadership in a way that creates clarity and certainty rather than fear and mistrust. In this session we will discuss the critical aspects of a comprehensive succession plan (management, ownership and governance) for your farm or agribusiness and how leadership can be the key differentiator between success and failure.


2. Purpose. Priority. Plan: Your Leadership Map - Amy te Plate-Church, Director of Account Services, Look East

Map your purpose and path for intentional leadership and mentorship in this interactive session that follows the keynote theme. Amy will guide through prompts to articulate your why, connect leadership commitments with your values and priorities, and plan your course – all while considering the demands that women shoulder in today’s world. You’ll leave with a personal plan, designed by you, to live your leadership purpose for 2020 and beyond.


3. Stress on the Farm: Strategies to Help Each Other - Anthony Santiago, ISU Extension and Outreach Human Sciences College Projects Specialist, and Tammy Jacobs, ISU Extension and Outreach Human Sciences Hotline Coordinator

Mental illness is as common as the flu, but there is no preventative vaccine. So, how do we prepare ourselves to take care of our families and our neighbors? This workshop will increase your noticing and caring skills. In this session, you’ll learn the CORN mnemonic to help you choose to engage, offer support, refer a person to helplines and local resources, and to never leave a person in distress alone. You’ll also learn about Iowa Concern, a talk line and referral service that grew out of the 1980’s farm crisis.

12:00 pm Luncheon - Grilled chicken or lamb kabobs, roasted Mediterranean vegetables, mixed greens salad, garlic pasta salad, tahini, falafel, tzatziki sauce, hummus, pita bread, baklava, coffee, tea, iced-tea, milk
  Luncheon remarks and networking activity – Women in Ag and Our Careers: Asking Questions
1:15 PM Concurrent Session B (select one)

1. Succession Planning Takes Communication - Rena Striegel, President, Transition Point Business Advisors

Succession planning is more than a collection of documents. Whether you are a leader of a farming operation or an agribusiness, it takes open communication and decisive leadership. When these are not present, succession planning activities can stall or fail. In this session we will discuss strategies for working through challenging conversations and critical decisions. This will include how to include stakeholders appropriately, handle tough conversations and keep everyone at the table as well as how to deal with strong emotions and disruptive behavior.


2. Stay Calm and Negotiate! - Wendy Srnic, Global Leader Integrated Field Sciences, Corteva

Negotiation can be one of the most intimidating or exhilarating experiences we face. We humans are actually ‘hard wired’ to negotiate…the economies of our ancestors were entirely based on bartering! Negotiation is part of practically every human activity, and is simply the social process of reaching mutually beneficial terms of agreement. This session will explore some best practices and tips to help you approach potentially intimidating negotiation discussions with your employer, colleagues, family members, realtors, retailers, or your collaborators into tactics and a well-developed plan. Approaching the negotiation prepared and confident is your competitive advantage!


3. Yielding Higher Production Isn’t Just for Harvesting! - Krisdeena Jansen, Human Resource Specialist, ISU Human Resources

Have you ever considered why some teams seem to get along better, or why some teams just seem more productive than others? Have you ever thought how to grow your team and improve overall dynamics? Attend this interactive session to explore the stages of group dynamics and begin understanding why certain teams yield higher performance than others. By the end of the session, you will identify which stage of group dynamics your team currently sits in, and begin applying immediate takeaways for successfully developing your teams back home.

2:15 pm Networking and refreshments
General session 2
2:30 pm

Panel discussion: Women in Ag and Our Careers: Sharing Experiences - Panelists include: Clara Lauritsen, Customer Relations, Lauritsen Cattle Company; Monica Lursen, Farmer, Lursen Farms and Lursen Trucking LLC; Leslie Miller, Vice-President, Iowa State Savings Bank

Have you ever wished you had known then what you know now? Our panel of three women in agriculture will share experiences from their personal career journeys. They will each offer a message of the wisdom they’ve gained along the way and what they are continuing to learn. The panelists will share advice about what pitfalls to avoid and how to overcome career challenges. The panel moderator will ask questions of the panelists provided by the audience during the luncheon networking activity.


Fitting In, Having Faith, and Finding your Passion - Elizabeth Burns-Thompson, Manager Corporate Affairs, Renewable Energy Group

Your value to agriculture is not based upon how many acres or head of livestock you run, the number of county fair ribbons you’ve earned, or even whether or not you were raised on a farm. Learn how a young woman who once questioned whether or not she was “ag” enough to fit in followed her passion, trusted fate, and grew to be recognized as one of the 30-Under-30 leaders in our industry.

  Closing remarks - Madeline Schultz, program manager, Women in Agriculture, Iowa State University
4:00 pm Conference adjourns



  • $60
    Advance registration requested to assist with planning. Registrations will be accepted at the door.
  • $30
    Student registration.
  • Registration includes meals and refreshments listed on the conference program. The Monday optional tours and intensive program are included in registration.

Hotel information

  • A block of rooms is reserved at the Gateway Hotel and Conference Center for those wishing to travel to Ames the evening before the conference. Reservations may be made by calling 800-367-2637 by Tuesday, November 26, 2019. Room rates are $99, when you ask for the Women in Ag Leadership Conference room block. Reservation requests received after Tuesday, November 26, 2019 will be accepted on a space available and a rate available basis.
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  • Confirmation of registration and receipts are sent via email. Please provide a valid email address when registering.
  • For assistance with registration, receipts, cancellation or questions on the status of your registration please contact ANR Program Services at (515) 294-6429 or anr@iastate.edu.


Madeline Schultz

Madeline Schultz
program manager, Women in Ag Program
Iowa State University Extension and Outreach
(515) 294-0588

Lisa Scarbrough

Lisa Scarbrough
communications specialist, Women in Ag Program
Iowa State University Extension and Outreach
(515) 294-4972