Podcasts Highlight Women In Agribusiness

Sara Steever (President, Paulsen Agriculture and NAFB Allied Industry Council member) asks the question, “Do you know any young women considering their education and career options? That's precisely the audience for Spark: Women in Agribusiness, a podcast series that profiles some of the most accomplished women in agriculture.” She explains, “The podcast series came about because I believe it's important to encourage young women to consider agriculture for their life's work. I heard it said once that a country with food has many problems, but a country without food has only one. That "one problem" is why we must continually look to recruit the best and brightest minds. This pipeline of talent will ensure a future where food is nutritious, abundant and affordable for all.” Sara notes, “With so many students growing up without a farming background, it's important to provide role models in a way that uses technology and social networks to reach women who may otherwise never consider agribusiness as a viable opportunity.” She adds, “Many jobs in agribusiness are STEM jobs–that’s to say, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math-related jobs. But I would add an "A" for Agriculture to that list. We need STEAM jobs because there are important roles outside of STEM as part of the agricultural system. Business, communications, law, finance and HR are just some of the roles that we explore on Spark, along with traditional STEM fields.”  

About the podcasts, Sara said, “The Spark interviews are compelling because each woman overcomes obstacles to succeed. And, universally, I can tell you that there are no more intelligent, generous and joyful women than you will meet on Spark. You'll recognize Michelle Rook, Farm Director for WNAX Radio; Sarena Lin, President of Cargill Animal Nutrition; Jill Wheeler, Head of Sustainable Productivity at Syngenta; Jenna Oesch, global marketing manager at Monsanto Vegetable Seeds; Karla Trautmann, Interim Director at South Dakota State University Extension, and many more articulate, accomplished professional women in agribusiness. Sara has done 10 interviews so far and Michelle Rook (left) was the most recent. Sara is planning two more interviews in the next two weeks, so her goal is to do one or two a month. “Through their stories, we learn about the jobs they have now and the paths they took that got them there,” Sara explains. “All along the way, they have great advice for starting or re-starting a career in agribusiness. You'll find the podcast on iTunes by searching for Spark: Women in Agribusiness, or at http://www.paulsen.ag/category/thinking/spark/. If you know of a leader in agribusiness that would like to tell their story, contact sara.steever@paulsen.ag. And please share this with anyone you know who is ready to start a career that comes with a larger purpose, that of feeding the world.”