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WIA Summit announce ag award & scholarship opportunities

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Women in Agribusiness are accepting nominations for its 2020 Women in Agribusiness Demeter Award of Excellence, which recognizes women who have achieved excellence in their field or demonstrated an outstanding contribution to the agribusiness industry. It also announced that its Student Scholarship Program, which last year provided the opportunity to 20 college students to attend its annual Women in Agribusiness Summit, is now accepting applications.

2020 WIA Demeter Award of Excellence

Past recipients of the Women in Agribusiness Demeter Award of Excellence were notable for their work on mission-critical projects, including managing more than $800 million of annual commodity spend, or being the top woman in a business platform role in a company of 21,000 employees. Another was heralded as being an advocate for women in agriculture for more than 30 years, through writing their stories and sharing with more than 235,000 growers.

Successes like that are welcome in nominations for this year’s award, where up to three recipients will be chosen. Each will be invited to accept her award at the 2020 Women in Agribusiness Summit. Recipients of the award, which is so named after Demeter, the goddess of the harvest from ancient Greek mythology, will be notified prior to being recognized.

Criteria for nomination includes:

  • 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.

Nomination forms are available on the Women in Agribusiness website. There is no limit to the number of entries, which will be accepted through Friday, July 10, and self-nominations are permissible as well.

Student Scholarships

Now in its eighth year, WIA Student Scholarships help defray recipients’ attendance costs for the annual WIA Summit. Applicants must be full-time undergraduate or graduate students attending an accredited college or university, and majoring in agribusiness or a related field. Sponsorships from industry companies, such as Cargill, Nutrien, and Rabobank, make these scholarships possible. Students hail from colleges such as Cornell University, Duke University, and Texas A&M University.

“Right now, we already have three young women interested in securing a scholarship for this year. They’ve heard how positive an experience it is from friends and colleagues so they are very excited to attend in 2020,” said Carrie Vita, program manager of the scholarship program, who shared some of the comments of past participants:

  • “I find it hard to put into words just how inspiring and motivating it was to be a part of such a large and excited group of women all gathered towards the common goal of promoting a profitable and sustainable future for agriculture and feeding the world.” – Kristi Schammel, Indiana University, sponsored by Intrexon
  • “It was an incredible opportunity to meet extraordinary women from different parts of the United States and even from other countries who are involved in the Agricultural Industry. I was able to network with potential employers and also, I had the chance to learn a lot from all the presentations.” – Caren Ayala, Texas Tech, sponsored by Global Talent

Applications for student scholarships, which are available here, are being accepted until Tuesday, June 30, 2020.

Learn more about the Women in Agribusiness Summit, which has fostered an international community of women who are passionate about agribusiness and sharing industry knowledge to help professional women know their business better, at womeninag.com

Any views or opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect those of AGDAILY. Comments on this article reflect the sole opinions of their writers.