Rebranded Women in Agriculture Conference Awes and Connects Attendees as Ag Women Engage

Audience members sitting at tables in convention hall listen to speaker.
Participants at the 2023 Ag Women Engage Conference hear from keynote speaker Brenda Mack. The gathering took place at the Terre Haute Convention Center Feb. 22-23.

The Midwest Women in Agriculture Conference was rebranded this year as the Ag Women Engage, or AWE, Conference. The gathering last week at the Terre Haute Convention Center marked the first time in three years the meeting was held in person.
Elysia Rodgers, the AWE Conference Chair, says the name change reflects the opportunity for women from across the region to re-engage with each other.
“The thought is each year, moving forward, to kind of change that ‘E’ depending on what we want the theme of the conference to be. So, ‘Ag Women Enliven,’ ‘Ag Women Enlighten,’ things like that. So that’s kind of our thought moving forward, is that’s why we have the renovation the A.W.E. conference so we come away awed and amazed at what we can learn and what we can do.”
Conference participant Sara Espinosa, soil conservationist for the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Vigo County, says she enjoyed the opportunity to connect.
Ag Women Engage participants Alejandra Gonzalez and Sara Espinosa, both soil conservationists for the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

“It’s been pretty nice to spend time with women. And throughout this conference, I’ve realized that there are a lot more women in ag than I first thought about.”
She says helping others feel supported was one topic that resonated with her.
“I grew up in a farming community. I was born and raised a dairy rancher. I know how hard it is for farmers to find that support or feel understood or just simply not alone because a lot of them think they’re alone. The talks I’ve been through today have mostly been about mental health, so it’s very good that we’re shining a spotlight on to that and just making that conversation easier for everybody.”
Alejandra Gonzalez, soil conservationist for the NRCS in Dearborn County, says she wasn’t sure about attending the AWE Conference at first but is glad she did.
“I was a little iffy myself, like oh, maybe I’m not good in this conference. I don’t have anything to learn, those kind of thing, and I’ve learned a lot and I continue learning. For example, I just learned how to promote NRCS via pictures and those kind of things. It’s a great and different type of experience.”

Recommended Posts