A Brief History of the
Women's Agricultural Leadership Conference

We are thrilled to be celebrating 19 years of the Women's Agricultural Leadership Conference in 2017. How did it all start? In 1998 the Minnesota Agriculture Project Forum formed a leadership task force that discussed the findings of Tom Kajer's thesis on "Leadership in Agricultural Organizations: perceptions and experiences of volunteer leaders". One of the findings of the discussions that there were not many women in leadership positions in agricultural organizations although there were numerous women agriculturalists. Two of the task force members, Robin Kinney and Doris Mold decided that something needed to be done to activate more women in agriculture. They formed a committee that started the Women's Ag Leadership Conference. On the cusp of the new millennium, the conference kicked off in 1999 under the banner of the A2K Conference Series, meaning 'Agriculture Going Into the 21st Century'.  We started with the theme "Making Our Place in the World" and have now arrived at "Embracing Innovatio" in 2017. 
 
We are also celebrating our 15th year of honoring outstanding agricultural mentors. Those people who help ensure the future of agriculture by passing on their knowledge and supporting up and coming agricultural leaders. While so many honor agricultural leaders, we think it is important to recognize and honor the mentor leaders behind the leaders.
 
 The conference is entirely volunteer driven and involves committee women from all walks of agriculture. The conference is coordinated by District 11 of Minnesota Agri-Women.
 
Over the years the conference has become a leading networking and leadership development resource for women in agriculture. As well as, a source for quality programming on a wide range of issues and ideas.
 
Participants in the Conference have told us that the conference has made a difference in their lives by providing them with: new or improved skills; mentors to assist them in their careers; and an accessible network of other agricultural professionals. They have also told us that they have even started their own businesses or have made improvements in their existing businesses as a result of what they have learned at the conference or the contacts that they have gained through the conference. While some have improved their businesses, others have found jobs or continued their education due, in part to connections they made at the conference. This is all that we have hoped for and more.
 
The conference is for anyone with an interest in women's agricultural leadership regardless of gender or affiliation.
 
Past Themes
1999 - Making Our Place in the World
2000- Empowering Yourself for the Future
2001 - Creating Your Future in Agriculture
2002- Together We Stand
2003- We are the Strongest Link
2004- Breaking New Ground
2005- The Power of Leadership
2006- Re-Defining Agriculture
2007- Deciphering Our Future
2008- Celebrating the Power of 10
2009- Activating “Generation Next”
2010- New Perspectives
2011- Telling Our Story
2012- Changing the Face of Agriculture
2013- You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet!
2014- Lean In!
2015- Planting Our Future
2016- Activate Her
2017- Embracing Innovation

2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005
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