In celebration of its 60th anniversary, the American Angus Auxiliary recently held the “Women Connected” Conference in Saint Joseph, Mo. Women involved in the cattle business, from throughout the country, joined together to engage with one another, empower leadership abilities and educate themselves about current industry topics.
“We brought together such a diverse group of women involved in not only the Angus industry, but also the entire agriculture sector,” says Anne Lampe, Auxiliary president. “The conference gave these women the chance to learn more about agriculture, themselves and their abilities to be advocates for the industry.”
Twenty-nine women from 15 states traveled to the Midwest for the weekend, April 14-16. They heard from a variety of speakers, participated in interactive workshops, and further developed leadership and teambuilding skills.
Opening keynote speaker Suzy Graven, life and business strategy coach, spoke with participants about women’s influence on the American West. They also heard from Lampe about the history and mission of the American Angus Auxiliary and the Angus Foundation, and their common goals of supporting Angus education, youth and research.
Debbie Lyons-Blythe, Angus rancher from White City, Kan., shared advocacy tips for connecting with consumers and other women outside of the industry. The American Angus Association®’s public realtions department also presented on how to nativgate social media and take powerful photos for farm and ranch marketing.
Participant Danyal Coon, Rockport, Mo., is a member of the National Beef Speakers Bureau and says the social media advocacy portion of the conference better equipped her to share agriculture’s story.
“There is so much knowledge floating around out there, and with the information I was able to learn during the conference, I will be able to dig a lot deeper into my ag-advocacy blog and really be able to tell agriculture’s real story,” Coon says. “Ranching is not just a job, it’s a lifestyle, and the only way we can connect is to put a face to the industry.”
Later in the conference, Marcy Heim, founder of The Artful Asker, shared techniques to empower participants as leaders in the beef industry. Heim also presented methods to encourage others to invest in organizational development.
Participant Carla Malson of Parma, Idaho, says the information she received from the conference won’t just stay in St. Joseph: “No matter what region the participants were from in the United States, we had more similarities than differences,” Malson says. “I am really fired up to take new ideas from the speakers and other attendees back and fine tune them for my region and organizations.”
The conference concluded April 16 with a tour and informative breakout sessions of the Association and Angus Productions Inc.
“At the end of the day, we were all excited about the knowledge everyone was walking away with,” Lampe says. “We are excited to see the impact these women will bring to the industry.”
Visit www.angusauxiliary.com for more information or to join the American Angus Auxiliary. A full list of participants follows.