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Now is the Time to Recognize Women Achieving in Ag

By Michelle Pelletier Marshall, Women in Agribusiness Media (June 4, 2024)


Look around you… do you see a woman who has been crushing it working for successes in the ag sector? Now is the time – with the deadline for the Women in Agribusiness (WIA) Demeter Award of Excellence nomination submittal being June 14 – to ensure that woman (and it could be you!) gets the recognition she deserves.

The WIA Demeter Award of Excellence has been recognizing the achievements of women in the sector for more than a decade. Up to three recipients are chosen each year and they are honored at the annual Women in Agribusiness Summit by receiving their award on-stage and enjoying the accolades from their peers (they also get complimentary registration to the Summit!). Nominees must:


  • Have a minimum of 10 years of experience in the agriculture and/or food industry.

  • Have notable professional achievements. 

  • Be an inspiring role model for other women in the industry.

  • Actively dismantle barriers, foster opportunities, and act as a valuable resource for others.

  • Consistently exemplify professionalism.


Know someone who fits the bill (self-nominations are permissible as well)? Fill out the nomination form here.


For examples of stand-out performance and outstanding accomplishments, see the full list of all past recipients here, and consider the achievements of these recipients below (note that some may be in different positions at this time due to time passed since the award was bestowed):


Priscila Vansetti Machado 2020 Demeter Award Recipient

There are a lot of first in this 2020 Demeter Award recipient’s storied career: Priscila Vansetti Machado, director of global strategy and business development for Corteva Agriscience’s more than $6 billion crop protection business, was the first woman to hold the title of valedictorian of her class at Universidade de São Paulo in Brazil where she obtained an agriculture engineering degree; the first female scientist hired by Dupont in its agriculture business, and the first female business director at its Latin American operations, and ultimately the first female president of DuPont do Brasil; and in her current position, Vansetti Machado is the first woman to lead the cross-functional, executive level Corporate Strategy Steering Team.


Christine Tacon 2018 Demeter Award Recipient

Christine Tacon, groceries code adjudicator, UK Regulator, a 2018 Demeter Award recipient. Tacon is credited with transforming the largest farmer co-operative in the UK from operating at a huge loss to ending with an $8 million profit, and a $30 million increase in revenue. She also took on the role as the first-ever sector regulator in the UK, bringing fairness to the relationship between direct suppliers and the country’s 10 biggest supermarkets. She is the chair of Management Development Services, a recruitment and training provider for graduates of the food and produce sector, and non-executive director of Anglia Farmers, a $350 million farm-purchasing co-operative. Additionally, Tacon is the founder of Ladies in Agriculture, created to facilitate networking and mentorship opportunities.


Ponsi Trivisvavet 2020 Demeter Award Recipient

In 2020, Ponsi Trivisvavet, CEO for Inari Agriculture, a company that uses gene-editing technologies and data science to develop next-generation seeds that reduce the environmental footprint of farming, was recognized with the Demeter Award. She also participated in the Executive Profiles session at that year’s Women in Agribusiness Summit.


Armed with an MBA from Cornell, she went on to become one of the few female executives in the agtech field – from working at McKinsey to being president of Syngenta Seeds North America. At Inari, she notes that 50 percent of its employees are women, and their international, innovative team has developed solutions that will cut plant breeding time by two-thirds – sometimes 10 to 15 years – and reduce costs by as much as 90 percent!


Sandra Hulm 2019 Demeter Award Recipient

Sandra Hulm, a 2019 Demeter recipient, vice president of procurement for Conagra Brands. Hulm led mission-critical projects at Conagra, including managing more than $800 million of annual commodity spend and acting as the project lead for Conagra’s Integrated Margin Management program, with management of $1 billion in annual material spend, along with Conagra’s Risk Management and Materials Operations teams. Just last month, Hulm was promoted to senior vice president at her new company, Scoular, charged with leading the company’s newly formed Renewables & Oilseeds Division. 


Hear what the 2023 WIA Demeter Award recipients had to say in this video.


And don’t forget nominations are due by EOD Friday, June 14.



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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