On June 27 and 28, the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) welcomed growers and staff to this year’s Women and Mentors Retreat. Focused on building a network of rising leaders, women and mentors came together to overcome workplace obstacles, share their leadership journey and empower each other.
The second annual conference kicked off with a lesson on Quieting Your Inner Critic and roundtable discussions. Both activities encouraged participants to put aside negative thoughts and experiences to lead with power and purpose. Then growers and staff separated into breakout rooms to individualize their experiences. Grower participants cultivated tools to lean on their network and get more involved in leadership, while staff learned tools to help them thrive in a male-dominated industry. This year’s conference concluded with a lunch program focused on Why Diversity is Important at Every Table.
Attendees left encouraged to continue their networking experience in their newly formed cohort groups. These mentorship networks, formed during the conference, were designed to bring together women and male allies with shared experiences.
"The women and male allies who choose to get involved with this program are incredibly talented in a number of ways. The network this program created provides a space for women to ask questions and learn skills to move into leadership roles as they arise," shares Kendra Ricks, who organized this year’s conference.
NCGA would also like to thank the sponsors that make this program possible: Syngenta, Bayer and John Deere.