It’s Time to Celebrate the Women in Ag
Wednesday, November 29, 2017
This week, I will be joining women from across the agriculture industry in Chicago for the Executive Women in Ag Conference. This annual event is a chance to highlight women in ag and build strong network connections. As I prepared for the conference, I had to the chance to talk with some of the talented women of Bayer to learn about their background, passions, and goals for the future.
Ashley has been involved with agriculture industry for 9 years and has embraced the opportunity to the fullest. She joined the communications team without a background in agriculture, but has found a home for herself here.
“There are a lot of opportunities in ag; whether you are a man or woman, scientist or accountant. By joining the ag industry, you have the opportunity to contribute to challenges that impact each and every person on the planet.”
–Ashley Feldhaus, Corporate Communications
Part of the communications role is connecting with those inside and outside of agriculture, giving her the chance to constantly grow and learn from others. She has had the opportunity to go to this event twice, and highly recommends the conference to anyone who has the chance to attend.
As a small child, Becky found herself submerged in agriculture. At age five, her family bought a farm where she became responsible for the care of chickens, ducks, and other livestock as their family farm developed. As soon as she was old enough, she became a member of her 4-H and FFA chapters expanding her knowledge and passion for ag.
Becky is able to look back at her upbringing in agriculture and see all of the positive strides that the industry has seen to improve efficiency, productivity, and sustainability. She’s excited to see how modern ag continues to advance with technology.
“Never feel like being a woman is holding you back. Women are smart, strong, and bring valuable perspectives to any conversation. Don’t be afraid to voice that perspective.”
Inci has been a proud member of agriculture for 30 years, through her career and her personal life, continuously fueling her passion for feeding the world. When she married into a farming family, she was given a great opportunity to help out and experience farming first hand.
She’s excited to see the next generation get involved and make a difference, but one of the hurdles for getting more women in the industry is the lack of awareness. There are so many great career opportunities within ag. This is an industry where you can realize your career dreams and aspirations, while fulfilling a passion of feeding the world.
Her goal is to get more people inspired about agriculture. “The industry needs the best and the brightest as well as diversity of thought to tackle the challenges ahead. It is a great opportunity to put your skills to the test.”
Catherine joined the Bayer Trait Research organization after studying wheat genetics and genomics for 20 years in academia. These studies taught her the socio-economic importance of wheat and sparked her passion for research in agriculture. Her role at Bayer enables her to find new ways to accelerate crop improvement for the benefit of both consumers and farmers.
Through her career, she has seen a great change in the industry, specifically in ag research. She remembers that when she started she was one of the few women attending breeding conferences. Now, there is a stronger female representation in ag research, introducing more diversity in thinking to the conversations.
“I have had inspiring women mentors in my career that have helped tackle big challenges in agricultural research. I aim to do the same by supporting other women along their way.”
– Catherine Feuillet, Head of Trait Research
It’s clear that there is a reoccurring theme among my colleagues is finding time to mentor and reach out to the community to encourage others to join the ag industry. Agriculture is constantly growing, and we need your help to keep it thriving for years to come!
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