I was grateful for the dialog that came about from my recent blog post, Women: Changing The Face Of Agriculture.

The post sparked a lot of conversations from people in the industry eager to acknowledge and address the changing agribusiness landscape. In it, I talk about USDA Census of Agriculture stats released earlier this year confirming the growing role of women in agriculture. I also describe the considerable ag experience of some of the fierce, smart women here at TKXS. Many grew up on farms. Others have ag degrees. Some have families still “on the farm.” And as you might imagine, many fall into multiple categories.

What I find particularly admirable, though, is the way my TKXS co-workers continue to “dig in” to this historically male-dominated industry. Several recently attended the heralded Women in Agribusiness Summit in Minneapolis. From what I understand, the event was hugely successful, with nearly double the attendees of the previous year. I’ve been fascinated to hear my teammates’ perspectives and to see them eager to incorporate their new learning for our ag clients. Here's some of what they had to say.

Developing leadership skills -- regardless of gender or industry

Kathryn Lynn, TKXS’ data science team lead, attended the Summit for the first time, seeking to deepen her understanding of agribusiness and identify opportunities. Surprisingly, one of Kathryn’s biggest takeaways didn’t specifically concern women or agribusiness. Instead, Kathryn picked up tips for becoming a strong leader -- regardless of gender or industry -- and got her thinking about her role here at TKXS and how she can become a more effective manager. (Naturally, data person that she is, Kathryn also gravitated toward any seminar or breakout session involving ag industry stats!)

Recognizing current industry trends

Sarah Payne, a TKXS technology solutions owner, had a different perspective, as a repeat Summit attendee. This year, Sarah took the opportunity to deepen her ag understanding firsthand by touring the local CHS facility and learning more about how crops and chemicals are transferred and transported. She also took a deep dive into two hot topics -- traceability and packaging/product trends -- that I foresee having a profound impact on our industry for decades to come.

Understanding the role of technology

Her very first day at the Summit, TKXS client experience manager Lindsay Wicker was inspired by the number of female state agriculture commissioners in attendance (four of 14 nationwide). She also was struck by the number of female producers in attendance, and later, disheartened to learn from them that, despite our many different digital outreach efforts, the majority of North American growers either still don’t have, or have extremely limited, internet access in their fields or on their operations. We need to work on that!

All attendees agreed that, based on what they witnessed at the conference, the ag industry -- like TKXS -- is burgeoning with up-and-coming female leaders. And I’m proud to witness the women of TKXS making significant inroads toward securing the industry’s promise, potential and future.

Read more: TKXS Women in Agriculture

Read more: Women: Changing The Face Of Agriculture

Read more: Data Science: The Method Behind The Magic