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Celebrating 10 years of Women in Agribusiness

By Michelle Pelletier Marshall, Women in Agribusiness Media (March 2, 2021)

It was September 2012 in New Orleans and a group of inquisitive women had gathered for a new conference, one that promised to help “recruit, retain and advance” women in the ag sector. Guided by expert speakers and through providing thought-provoking discussions, unparalleled networking and a focus on the challenges unique to women in the agribusiness sector, the conference was all that and more. The Women in Agribusiness Summit (WIA) was born.

Talking about the "birth" of Women in Agribusiness

Today, as we embark on our 10th anniversary event – September 21-23, 2021 in Minneapolis – we have seen the event grow to convene close to 1,000 of the country’s female agribusiness decision-makers, with 30 percent at the CEO/executive level and another 25 percent at department management level. The event itself has expanded to include industry tours, extraordinary off-site receptions, a members-only night, community care events, critical keynote speakers and many special extras that have set the foundation to building this year-round active, thriving community of movers and shakers in the sector.

Additionally, Women in Agribusiness Initiatives have grown to include an annual European Summit (which will take place this year in a virtual event on 8-10 March), a membership option that provides year-round opportunities to connect with the WIA community, opportunities to recognize achievements in the sector with the Demeter Award of Excellence and scholarship offerings for young women, not to mention an ever-steady stream of industry news, exclusive interviews and insight in the WIA Today blog.

WIA Today sat down with Greg Mellinger, CEO of HighQuest Partners, parent company of WIA, and Joy O’Shaughnessy, WIA event director and COO of HighQuest Partners’ Agribusiness Division, for more insight into the event and the WIA mission.

Please click here to listen to the video interview, and tune in to WIA Today in the weeks to come (see the first interview with Nutrien, the second with Land O'Lakes, and the third with Cargill) as we speak with some of the longtime sponsors of WIA to get their view and insight into the phenomenon that is Women in Agribusiness.

Register and learn more about the 10th anniversary event this fall at


Do you have a story you'd like to contribute to WIA Today? Or a suggestion for a story, or comments about an article? Please reach out to Michelle Marshall at and share your thoughts. We'd love to hear from you.

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