Second in a Series: Land O’Lakes Weighs in on WIA Summit 10th Anniversary
By Michelle Pelletier Marshall, Women in Agribusiness Media (June 29, 2021)
As we look forward to celebrating our 10th annual Women in Agribusiness Summit this year with the September 21-23 event in Minneapolis, we reached out to a few of our long-time sponsors/supporters to weigh in on their WIA experience. (You can add your own WIA memory to our list as well by filling out this brief form.)
Land O'Lakes, Inc., one of America's premier agribusiness and food companies, is a member-owned cooperative with industry-leading operations that span the spectrum from agricultural production to consumer foods. The company operates some of the most respected brands in agribusiness and food production, including LAND O LAKES® Dairy Foods, Purina Animal Nutrition, WinField® United, and Truterra, LLC. Its now-CEO, Beth Ford, was the keynote speaker at the 2013 Women in Agribusiness Summit in Minneapolis.
1). Heather, thank you to you and Land O’Lakes for joining us on the decade-long Women in Agribusiness journey. Can you please tell us how you initially got involved with the Summit?
I have worked for Land O’Lakes for 21 years, but I did not grow up on a farm or in and around agriculture, so I have had a lot to learn over those years! I initially got involved with the Summit in 2017 when I moved from a role in Dairy Foods to a role that expanded across the Land O’Lakes enterprise. The Summit was a perfect way for me to expand my network and learn more about the broader challenges and opportunities facing the entire agribusiness ecosystem.
2). How has your participation grown and/or changed over the years?
I joined WIA as an advisor, which provided me with a behind-the-scenes view of how the Summit is developed. From providing guidance on topics of interest and speakers, to sharing feedback from Land O’Lakes participants, it has been fun to grow my involvement. Last year, I spoke on one of the panels and we had a Land O’Lakes farmer provide a virtual tour of her operation. It is an opportunity to showcase our company pride, share our learnings, and gain new insights, all at the same time.
3). What are the top three reasons you still support Women in Agribusiness Initiatives?
The network, the support, and the learnings. There is strength in women coming together to lift each other up, and knowing that the WIA mission is to do just this is a powerful commitment that I personally feel a responsibility to support. And, I always learn something new at the Summit. The careful planning and dedication of the WIA staff to provide an agenda filled with relevant and engaging content never disappoints. In fact, it gets better and better each year.
4). Please share with us a favorite memory of a WIA Summit.
At my very first WIA Summit in 2017, the Land O’Lakes team leveraged the Minneapolis location to invite a number of our women employees and member/owners to join us at our
headquarters for a pre-session. We heard from our CEO Beth Ford, had sessions on developing personal branding, and talked about the Land O’Lakes governance process and how to get involved. We then went to the Summit together as a newly -formed network and some familiar faces to see throughout the Summit. Taking advantage of the Summit to connect was a great way to give a personal touch, develop new relationships, and support our women colleagues.
ABOUT HEATHER ANFANG
Heather Anfang serves as the senior vice president for U.S. Dairy Foods where she oversees strategic and commercial activities in the Dairy Retail and Foodservice businesses, partners to drive overall brand health, and encourages the continued engagement and development of team members within the Dairy Foods business.
Anfang has served Land O’Lakes for 20 years, including many years heading Dairy Foods Marketing and more recently, heading enterprise-wide e-commerce efforts. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management.