Women in agriculture

Ashley Hunter
ECB Publishing, Inc.

For as long as agriculture has been a part of society, women have worked equally alongside men to run the fields, farms, ranches and orchards that bring forth the bounty of vegetables, dairy products and meat that feeds society.
On March 28-30, at the Women's Leadership Conference, hosted by Florida Farm Bureau at the Orlando Marriot, in Lake Mary, Fla., women workers and advocates in agriculture were the spotlight of the weekend.
Four ladies from the Jefferson County Farm Bureau and UF/IFAS Jefferson County Extension Office attended the conference, which was themed “A Time to Bloom.”
These four women – Sarah Fulford, Melissa Bass, Danielle Sprague and Nora Beth Carpenter – were given the opportunity to network with women from around the state of Florida, as well to hear about the important issues impacting the state's agricultural industry in a fun, leadership-enhancing and memorable environment.
The keynote speaker for the conference was Karen Eddington, from Utah, who provided a discussion on work-life balance and “blooming” (succeeding) under pressure.
During the awards banquet, Jefferson County's farm bureau staff were given the 2018 Women's Activity Award.
The conference included tours to local area agricultural operations, such as the Hollieanna Groves, located in Maitland, Fla., which is a citrus operation, and Agri-Starts, Inc, where the conference members learned about plant propagation while touring the corporation's greenhouses.
The last tour stop was the Yarborough Ranch, a cattle ranch that has been in operation since 1954.
While the conference served to help further the knowledge and education of its attendees, it also recognized the hard work of the Farm Bureau Women’s Programs around the state and encouraged its attendees to be better women leaders for the agriculture industry.