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Archived Presentations

Click on the links below to view previous engaging presentations:

2020: “Healthy Farms”


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Brenda MackBrenda Mack is a behavioral health and wellness consultant, trainer, presenter, researcher and an Assistant Professor in the Social Work Department at Bemidji State University (BSU). Before joining the faculty at BSU, Brenda worked for twenty years as a program manager, outpatient and in-home therapist and mobile behavioral health crisis responder for a community mental health center. She holds Bachelor and Master of Arts in Social Work degrees from the University of North Dakota. Brenda is a full-time doctorate in social work student at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN and will graduate in May 2020. She is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker through the Minnesota Board of Social Work. Brenda grew up in a farm family where her late father was a third-generation Red River Valley crop farmer and her mom was his partner in marriage for 50 years and helped run their agricultural operations.  Brenda is married to a fourth-generation crop farmer from Crookston, MN.  She has a special place in her heart for women in agriculture who have a primary or secondary role in farming or ranching.  She walks the same path of ag-related ups and downs and wants to spark a local, state and national conversation about the impacts of stress, how to build resilience through connection, and implementing self-care strategies.

Reitmeier-Shauna (1)Shauna Reitmeier, MSW, has over 25 years of experience in the behavioral healthcare and cognitive disabilities fields. She currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the Northwestern Mental Health Center, which serves a comprehensive array of behavioral healthcare services to adults, children and families across six rural and frontier counties of Northwest Minnesota. Her background of growing up on her family’s third-generation farm, working the fields during harvest and experiencing the stressors and joys the agriculture way of life brings has brought awareness and insight to her work within the communities she serves.

Sue Schneider 2019Sue Schneider, Ph.D., works in the Larimer County office of Colorado State University Extension providing leadership and programming in the areas of community health, wellness and healthy aging. Sue teaches a range of classes and workshops that support individuals in developing stress-resilience, motivating behavior-change and applying self-care tools. She holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology from Michigan State University and is a Duke-trained and certified Integrative Health Coach.

GabrielleGabrielle McNally leads American Farmland Trust’s national initiative to ensure women landowners have access to resources, technical advice and policy facilitators to ensure they lead in conservation and building resilient agrifood systems. Before joining AFT, she worked as a fellow with the USDA Northwest Climate Hub where she conducted social science research to better understand producer decision making in sustainable agrifood systems. Gabrielle has a Master of Science from the University of Washington School of Environmental and Forestry Science and a Doctorate in sociology and sustainable agriculture from Iowa State University.

 2018: “Pump Up Your Financial Fitness”

RobinReid          IMG_1442          Sara Beth

Robin Reid, Farm Economist,     LaVell Winsor, Farm Analyst,     Sarah Beth Aubrey, Author & Farmer; Principal,
Kansas State University Ext.       Kansas State University Ext.       Aubrey Coaching & Training, LLC

Robin was raised on a family farm and now as a farm economist, she helps farmers understand farm financial management. She knows the importance of sound recordkeeping. LaVell is a third generation farmer and helps farmers analyze their businesses and make decisions based on their farm financials. Together, Robin and LaVell help build and improve annual cash flow systems. They teach strategies to start projections for the next year, monitor cash flow against actual income and manage family living expenses.

Sarah Beth and her husband raise cattle in Indiana and as an entrepreneur launched a retail meat business. Her mission as a farmer and agricultural business consultant is to help women be successful and profitable doing “what they love the most.” She teaches new ways to prioritize and how to do the most important things first. She gives her audience “fresh facts” from research that prove the distinct value women bring to the farm. She encourages women to farm!

2017: We Can Do It!


“Who Will Lead Next?”

Alexis Taylor, Oregon Department of Agriculture Director
When employed by the USDA, Alexis oversaw the Agriculture Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services program. Under her leadership, the Women in Ag Initiative became the driving force in the USDA’s mission to support the growing and diverse next-generation of farmers and ranchers. Alexis will challenge participants to strengthen their leadership skills, become more involved with long-time farmers and inspire new farmers. She encourages women farmers who are phasing out of their agricultural roles to support and mentor the next generation with their experience. Alexis grew up on a farm in Iowa, which has been under her family’s ownership for more than 150 years. She fully supports women and their roles in agriculture!

Anne Schwartz3

“Making Your Mark on Your Farm and in Your Community”

Anne Schwartz, Owner of Blue Heron Farm in the Skagit Valley in western Washington.
Anne is a former Tilth Producers of Washington president and has assumed a prominent role in sustainable agriculture.  Her career is rooted in activism and she knows how to inspire women farmers to develop or renew their leadership roles within agriculture and their communities.  Anne’s experiences include successes and setbacks, but her commitment to family and women farmers continues to motivate and mentor and is a force to be reckoned with.  Her enthusiasm for “getting involved” and “making a mark” will encourage every farmer to find their way to make a difference!


2016: “Power Up Your Communication – Power Up Your Farm!

Power Up Your Communication!
Wendy Knopp and Michael Stolp with Northwest Farm Credit Services help conference participants discover their communication style.  Communication is the most powerful tool for building personal and business relationships. This interactive and engaging session defines how you communicate for success. Different personality styles impact the way we interact with customers, family, business contacts and employees. Discover your “communication style” and how to improve understanding and reinforce trust.

Power Up Your Farm!
Tangent, Oregon farmer, Shelly Boshart Davis, explains how she improved her communication approach to improve her business strategies, motivate employees, work with her family, and increase business sales. These skills will help you build better teams, improve decision making and connect marketing to what motivates prospects and customers. In addition to improving communication, women farmers will learn how to use their personality traits to change as the situation changes.


2015: “Making Sense of Marketing-Put Your Best Boot Forward”

Emily Dietzman Asmus started her farming career as a senior in high school with three laying hens in the Wa-Hi FFA poultry barn. Having tapped a deep passion, (just needed a comma after passion) Emily went on to apprentice at, work on, and then manage mixed vegetable operations and garden-based learning centers in Eugene, OR and Olympia, WA  After a decade of maritime learning and growing, Emily returned to the agricultural community of the Walla Walla Valley in 2007. Building the business and integrated farm system of Welcome Table, developing skills as a teamster, and raising two young girls on the farm keeps her busy! Life is full and filled with many blessings.

2015 is the ninth year of operation for Welcome Table Farm.  According to Emily, each year they try and get better on the farm. This year their focus is on maximizing efficiency in cultivation and harvest. They hope the horse powered weeding will increase and human time spent hoeing will decrease! They are also excited to expand on the Farmstand offerings throughout the season, plant a hedgerow and orchard, and put in a walk-in cooler to improve the quality of the perishable products.

2015: “Making Sense of Marketing…So You Can Put Your Best Boot Forward!”

Erica believes that EVERY organization can—and should—have a consistently compelling way to describe their organization, whether they’re talking, writing, or tweeting! She knows this isn’t an easy task and that’s why she creates tools to help organizations of all shapes and sizes tackle this tough challenge.

When working one-on-one or in small groups with clients, Erica asks a lot of questions about your ‘why’ (she’s a Simon Sinek fan), your belief proposition and your essence. She hammers away on your brand personality. It’s all a bit existential. But she’s so into it, you find yourself going along with it. And then—lo and behold—you realize this stuff works and you have focus and clarity and—woo hoo!—an elevator pitch you love!!!

Claxon Marketing is Erica’s third company. She recently realized she’s probably a serial social entrepreneur. Previously she launched and ran Mills Communications Group, a marketing firm that helped those doing good get noticed, and LegalEase, a contract paralegal company focused on immigration and refugee law.

Erica likes writing a whole lot. She likes public speaking and teaching even more than writing. She is a Lecturer at the University of Washington and Seattle University a frequent speaker at conferences and venues where there’s a gathering of mission-minded professionals.

When she’s not thinking about words, Erica thinks about how darn cute her two kids are and whether there is anything better than sipping a good glass of wine while they regale her with tales from their days on the mean streets of Northeast Seattle.


2014: “Change Happens – Make it an Opportunity”

womanHeather Darby is a 7th generation owner of The Darby Farm in the Lake Champlain Islands near Alburgh, Vermont. The Darby Farm has provided agriculture products for over 200 years. This 130-acre diversified farm produces a wide array of vegetables and fruit, has a small apiary, CSA program, farm stand and operates a custom-grazing service for local organic dairies. Heather will describe the strategies she uses to make her farming decisions. Change has been a constant in her operation with financial issues, organizational management, employees, starting a family and handling risk management issues related to weather, prices and work-life balance.

2013: “Lettuce Turnip the Beet: A Women’s Guide to Growing Her Farm”

triniTrini Campbell co-owns and operates Riverdog Farm, a diverse 500 acre organic farm located in a prime agricultural region called the Capay Valley.  Located near Guinda, California, the farm is known for its rich creek bottom soil, intense summer heat and winter frost which makes exceptionally tasty fruits, nuts and vegetables. Riverdog Farm products are available through the Riverdog Farm CSA program, select retail stores, wholesale distributors and at the Berkeley Farmers’ Markets.

Trini raises organic produce, pastured pigs, chickens, laying hens, almonds, walnuts, and grain for animal feed. She has been farming for 23 years.  She and her husband Tim started with two acres in 1990 in the Napa Valley and grew – gradually leasing more land as market demand for their product increased. With 100 employees Riverdog Farm operates year-round breeding and marketing pigs and chickens, seeding crops and harvesting produce known for its flavor and fresh quality. The farm is certified organic by the California Certified Organic Farmers.  At the 2011 Annual Eco-Farm Conference in Monterey, California Riverdog Farm was invited to speak at the Successful Organic Farm plenary session. In 2006, Trini received the California Agricultural Leadership Foundation’s Common Thread Award honoring women in agriculture. In 2004, Trini’s farm was sponsored by Chez Panisse Restaurant as delegates to the Slow Food Terra Madre Conference in Torino, Italy.


2012: “Farming as a Woman: My Own Private Reality Show!”

LynGarling_smLyn Garling is owner/operator of Over the Moon Farm, a 26-acre grass-based farm in central Pennsylvania. The farm produces organic hay, pork and poultry and grazes dairy heifers during the summer. As a farmer getting started later in life, Lyn jokes that since the median age of farmers is 50, her late start meant she fits right in. Getting into farming took a long and circuitous path. Even after years of experience it took a single “aha” moment and a leap of faith. Her early farm aspirations were salted with confusion and insecurities, but she soldiered on attaching herself to land-based generative activities, teaching, learning and being around people with a passion for farming. You will hear her story of being a “woman-farmer” today and how her challenges, inspirations, frustrations and flat-out amazements along the way have contributed to her success. Lyn says, there are many paths to becoming a farmer and as many ways to be a farmer!


2012: Blast Away Procrastination and Get It Done Now!

rita_article_border_smAre you overwhelmed with all that you’ve been putting off? Is it almost impossible to get yourself going?  Do you know what you need to do to be successful at work, in a relationship or with your life – but you just keep putting off doing it? Rita Emmett, who was born the world’s greatest procrastinator, has converted and is now a “Recovering Procrastinator.” She is adamant that procrastination is NOT a personality flaw or a character trait, it is simply a habit. Many people are constantly tired because of what they DO, but putting off what-you-know-you-should-do is usually more exhausting, more debilitating than hard work. If you can’t find the time for this session, perhaps THIS is the session you need. Rita offers not only sure-fire tips and techniques, but she also offers hope that procrastinators can convert.  Rita will share the tools to overcome this habit and “master the art of doing it now.”