top of page

WIA Announces 2021 Demeter Award of Excellence Recipients

By Michelle Pelletier Marshall, Women in Agribusiness Media, July 27, 2021

Each year for the last nine years, Women in Agribusiness (WIA) has sought out extraordinary women in the ag sector to recognize their exemplary achievements with the WIA Demeter Award of Excellence. The recipients are invited to claim their award at the annual Women in Agribusiness Summit, which this year will take place (in-person and online) September 21-23 at the Hyatt Regency Minneapolis.

The 2021 recipients are: Dr. Toni Bucci, chief operating office at AgBiome; Anne Cleary, VP of human resources for Wilbur-Ellis; and Dr. Vicky Salin, professor, Department of Agricultural Economics, at Texas A&M University.

Dr. Toni Bucci, AgBiome

“Toni’s approach to AgBiome’s mentor program is rooted in attracting and retaining the brightest talent. With a passion for building female leaders in science, Toni is an example and inspiration for her female colleagues entering the field. Her enthusiasm for mentoring and sharing her knowledge and skills with others is highly appreciated by all of her AgBiome mentees,” noted in her nomination application.

Anne Cleary, Wilbur-Ellis

John Thacher, Wilbur-Ellis’ executive chairman, said of Cleary: “She turned it [the HR department] from a transaction-focused organization into a strategic business partner.” Added John Buckley, company president and CEO, “When I came to the company four years ago, it was important to me that our HR leader possess the skillset I knew we would need. But equally important, did they have their finger on the employee pulse? Did they have a clear understanding of what employees are thinking and feeling? With Anne, we have both.”

Dr. Vicky Salin, Texas A&M University

Dr. Salin was one of the founding supporters and board members of WIA and has been instrumental in growing WIA’s student scholarship program. “Dr. Salin was eager to be a part of the creation of Women in Agribusiness in 2012 and remained on the advisory board for several years,” said Joy O’Shaughnessy, WIA event director and COO of HighQuest. “She continues to be involved in this event in various ways, including supporting several of her ag students in attending the WIA Summit each year. This feeds the workforce pipeline and results in a high percentage of these students becoming the new hires with our attending companies.”

Read all the details in the press release.


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.

bottom of page