NCGA Holds Fourth Annual Women and Mentors Retreat

July 3, 2024

NCGA Holds Fourth Annual Women and Mentors Retreat

Jul 3, 2024

Author: Maddie Weber

National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) hosted the fourth annual Women and Mentors Retreat in St. Louis, Missouri, on June 27 and 28.


The program offers a network for women and their male allies, providing mentorships and creating a pipeline of female leaders for NCGA and other agricultural organizations.


Participants at the most recent event noted that they were able to grow their leadership, communication, and professional skills while networking with others who are invested in elevating women’s voices in agricultural leadership.

“The Women & Mentors Program has inspired me to continue growing as a leader while supporting new and emerging leaders,” said Joan Ruskamp, a participant from Nebraska. “Most importantly, this retreat builds a growing network of women supporting one another no matter what role each of us has in agriculture.”

Participants were encouraged to “Quiet their Inner Critic” during the first session with helpful tips from Randi Braun, an author, consultant, executive coach, and speaker. Randi explained how identifying and quieting negative self-talk can help participants feel more confident, prepared, and empowered. Other presenters taught workshops on personal and professional branding, following one’s leadership journey, and communication differences. On the second day, attendees heard presentations about merchandising and how to pursue goals while upholding obligations. These sessions, led by industry leaders, sparked thoughtful conversation and new insight for participants.


The retreat ended with attendees meeting their new mentorship cohorts, groups based on similar interests and goals. These networks provide valuable connections and new opportunities for participants as they work towards their leadership and career goals.


NCGA would like to thank the sponsors that made this program possible: Syngenta, FMC, Bayer, and John Deere.