NCGA Women and Mentors Program Holds First-Ever Conference

July 6, 2021

NCGA Women and Mentors Program Holds First-Ever Conference

Jul 6, 2021

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

The National Corn Growers Association hosted the first-ever in-person meeting of the Women and Mentors program through the generous sponsorship of Bayer and Syngenta. The 15 attendees, who learn invaluable skills through this retreat to help them make an impact on not only the agricultural industry but also in their other endeavors as well.


Noteworthy industry leaders shared their personal leadership experiences and insights gained, including CEO of U.S. Dairy Export Council and former Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Krysta Harden, Syngenta Industry Relations Manager Macie O’Shaughnessy and Bayer President of North America Crop Science Jackie Applegate.  Experts led professional development sessions on Quieting our Inner Critic and Making Mentorship Work for You with separate breakout groups for mentees and mentors.


The Women and Mentors Retreat allowed the attendees to network and be supported by other female industry leaders to inspire and empower them. This conference also helped the attendees, who met virtually for three sessions prior to last week, gain a network of individuals invested in seeing more women in leadership roles within agriculture, and to become a mentor or a mentee at the conclusion of the conference.


The group will continue the program with quarterly virtual calls on leadership topics, and plan to continue with an in-person session annually, increasing the size of this network as we encourage up-and-coming female leaders to take the next steps in their leadership journeys.


Those in attendance at the event were Debbie Borg (Neb.); Danie Brandl (Neb.) Deb Gangwish (Neb.); Jancey Hall (Kan.); Joan Ruskamp (Neb.); Chloe Higgins (Neb.); Janis Highley (Ind.); Pam Johnson (Iowa); Andrea Kientzy (Mo.); Dan Nerud (Neb.); Macie O’Shaughnessy (Minn.);  Joan Ruskamp (Neb.);  Sue Schulte (Kan.); and Addie Yoder (Mo.).