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Don't miss the chance to recognize an exceptional woman in ag

By Michelle Pelletier Marshall, Women in Agribusiness Media (March 7, 2023)

If you have been to a Women in Agribusiness Summit, you most likely remember the presentation of the WIA Demeter Award of Excellence. Since its inception in 2013, there have been more than 25 recipients of the award, who were nominated by a peer for their outstanding achievements.

This year will be no different at the 2023 WIA Summit in Nashville, but your help is needed to identify these exceptional women in ag. The award, so named for Demeter, the goddess of the harvest from ancient Greek mythology, celebrates women who have achieved excellence in their field and/or who have demonstrated an outstanding contribution to the agribusiness industry.

Past recipients were selected for such achievements as: being executive sponsor of an employee resource group focused on increasing visibility of LGBTQ+ issues; or building an agtech company – as one of the few women CEO’s in the field – that boasts a workforce that is 50 percent female; or for being a visionary leader and facilitator of change in leading international ag and food policies.

Megan DeVelvis, 2015 Demeter Award Recipient

Other Demeter Award Recipients include:

In 2015: At Dow AgroSciences, Megan DeVelvis, U.S. commercial excellence leader and co-chairwoman of their Women’s Innovation Network (WIN), was recognized for her tenure as WIN chair, and her partnerships with other employee resource groups to elevate the awareness around role-modeling inclusive behaviors.

In 2020: Priscila Vansetti Machado, director of global strategy and business development for Corteva Agriscience’s more than $6 billion crop protection business, received the WIA Demeter Award for her trail of “firsts”: from the first woman to hold the title of valedictorian of her class at Universidade de São Paulo in Brazil, to the first female scientist hired by Dupont in its agriculture business and the first female business director at its Latin American operations, to being the first female president of DuPont do Brasil, there has been much to recognize.

Anne Cleary, 2021 Demeter Award Recipient

In 2021: Anne Cleary, VP of human resources for Wilbur-Ellis, was commended in her Demeter nomination letter for her “ability to adapt and even anticipate change that has helped her to lead positive business transformation. And she’s done so with agility, a strong sense of vision, and always with humor and empathy.” She also is credited with centralizing the company's HR systems across the U.S., Canada and Asia – and for the creation of THRIVE (a nod to the company’s purpose) to unify and enhance the recruiting, onboarding and ‘reboarding’ experience for all employees.

There is no limit to the number of Demeter Award entries, and self-nominations are permissible. Up to three nominees will be chosen and each recipient will be invited to accept her award at the 2023 Women in Agribusiness Summit, which will take place in Nashville, September 26-28. The nomination form, which can be found here, is a simple, easy document to navigate and submit, and criteria for nomination are below. Final deadline is Friday, July 14, 2023.

· Woman with a minimum of 10 years of experience in the ag and/or food industry;

· Woman who is a positive example to other women in the industry;

· Woman who breaks down barriers and serves as a resource for others; and

· Woman who consistently exemplifies professionalism.

Learn more about the Women in Agribusiness Demeter Award of Excellence in the Initiatives section of our website where you can also view all of the past recipients.

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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