Oklahoma Stories

Igniting and intensifying passion

By Leah Kelly July 2023

AgHERCulture offers opportunities for networking and mentorship for aspiring female agriculture leaders

Four conference attendees are posing and laughing in front of the backdrop.
Four attendees posing for a picture at the backdrop | Photos Courtesy of ODAFF

For Emma Victery, a recent graduate of Eastern Oklahoma State College, the saying, “It’s not about who you know, but it’s who they know,” has truly resonated with her. It serves as a reminder and encouragement for Victery to continue expanding her network, as “you never know when you might need someone’s support.”

Networking plants the seeds for a growing dream career. Thanks to Secretary of Agriculture Blayne Arthur and the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, aspiring female agriculture leaders now have an opportunity to grow their network.

The AgHERCulture Conference, held on the fourth Friday and Saturday in August, facilitates connections between high school and collegiate young women and mentors in the agricultural industry. This conference allows women to enhance their professional development skills, build meaningful connections and grow their social network.

This year’s collegiate conference will take place on August 25 from 4:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. at the Oklahoma State Capitol. It is open to women who have graduated high school, are currently enrolled in college, or are recent college graduates.

The high school conference will be August 26 from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Embassy Suites by Hilton in Oklahoma City. Young women entering or currently in high school are encouraged to attend. Both conferences will include meals, a t-shirt, a professional headshot and ample opportunities for connecting and networking.

“Secretary of Agriculture Blayne Arthur created this conference to give young women with an interest in agriculture an opportunity to develop their interpersonal and communication skills,” says JanLee Rowlett, Deputy Commissioner of ODAFF. “As well as to network and explore ways to stay involved in agriculture personally and professionally in the future.”

Conference mentor speaking to high school attendees
High school conference mentor speaking to attendees.

Mentors for the conference are chosen carefully to ensure a diverse representation of agricultural professionals, as emphasized by Victery. Alisen Anderson, co-founder of Agriculture Immersion and Mentorship, became a mentor because her goals aligned well with the conference’s meaning and purpose.

“I think it is important for high school girls to attend so we can ignite the passion in their agricultural journey,” Anderson says. “For college students, you have already been ignited, so we want to intensify that passion for agriculture.”

As a mentor, Anderson’s top priority is to ensure each attendee leaves the conference knowing they have people in their corner cheering them on, supporting them and believing in them. Most importantly, she wants each girl “to have enough confidence in them to go change, feed and run the world.”

According to Victery, the opportunity to connect with other “like-minded” women who share the same goals and interests is the best part of the conference. Witnessing the involvement and passion of numerous women in the agriculture industry is encouraging to her.

“There is nothing to lose by attending the conference,” Victery says. “It is an opportunity to better yourself and get to know leaders in your preferred ag sector.”

Unfortunately, the high school conference has already sold out due to limited seating. However, a waitlist will be created for those interested in attending if tickets become available, says Rowlett.

For more information or to register, please visit website.


Two collegiate attendees pose in front of backdrop
Group of collegiate attendees and a mentor pose in front of backdrop
Group of collegiate attendees pose in front of backdrop
Overlooking mentors speaking and connecting with collegiate attendees
Mentor, Kelli Payne, Oklahoma City Stockyards vice president, speaking to collegiate attendees
Mentor speaking to high school attendees
Mentor, Ruth Inman, presenting to high school attendees
Mentor, Kylee Deniz, Oklahoma Pork Council executive director, speaking at the high school conference.
Attendees and mentors pose for a picture inside the Oklahoma State Capitol
Category: Oklahoma Stories

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