A Tip of the Cap to Women in Agriculture

We’re just over a month away from our third in-person meeting of Women in Ag Tech (WiAT), which will again be co-located with Tech Hub LIVE in Des Moines, IA, at the end of July.

Launched in 2023, WiAT is a growing community of women in ag tech who are interested in networking, mentorship programs, exchanging ideas, and collaborating with like-minded industry professionals.

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WiAT has 12 “ambassadors” who have pitched in to provide feedback and guidance along the way, which has truly helped expand and fine-tune its mission. Two ambassadors announced some big news lately that is worth celebrating.

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Jennifer Goldston, Founder and CEO of AgTech PR, introduced the company’s inaugural Advisory Board in April. Its all-stars include:

  • Julie Borlaug of Borlaug Foundation & Borlaug Consulting, known in the industry for her work on behalf of smallholder farmers and advocating for accessible technology.
  • Bonnie Brayton of Fulcrum Global Capital, a scientist and investor with over 15 years of experience in plant sciences and biotech.
  • Erin Fitzgerald of Erin Fitzgerald Consulting, who has presented at the United Nations Food System Summit, Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP) and World Economic Forum, promoting agriculture as a solution to climate change.
  • Sherry Frey of NielsonIQ, who serves as Vice President of Wellness, providing invaluable guidance to major food companies.

According to Goldston: “When I founded AgTech PR, I set out three objectives: to champion technology that adds tangible value to our food system; to collaborate with smart, passionate people; and to help lift women in agriculture.”

Meanwhile, another WiAT Ambassador, Joyce Hunter, announced in May that she joined Mission Critical, an organization focused on improving the security and resiliency of the 16 U.S. critical infrastructure sectors, one of which is Food and Agriculture.

Over the course of her career, Hunter served as both the Interim CIO and Deputy CIO of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and held other senior leadership roles within the federal government, ICIT, Lotus Development Corp., Lawson Software, and Computer Sciences Corp. She also sits on multiple industry boards and is active in several philanthropies focused on advancing STEM and data science education for under-served and underrepresented youth.

Like the other WiAT ambassadors, Hunter keeps her finger on the pulse of agriculture news and is typically the first one I hear from when something exciting happens.

That was the case on a recent Friday night when I got an email from her with a press release from the U.S. Department of Agriculture entitled “U.S. Paves Way for United Nations (UN) to Declare 2026 as International Year of the Woman Farmer.”

“Wow!” I shouted, jumping up off the sofa. “This is so cool!”

Indeed, what a milestone, and what awareness it will raise for women who are farming and contributing in so many ways to global agriculture.

Our newest U.S. Department of Agriculture Deputy Secretary, Xochitl Torres Small, played a role in generating support for the UN resolution.

So many women to celebrate in agriculture!

Let’s get growing!

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