Four to be recognized at Women in Agribusiness Summit

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At this year's second annual Women in Agribusiness Summit, the Demeter Award of Excellence, which acknowledges the outstanding achievements of women in the sector, will make its debut. Four recipients will be recognized at the event in Minneapolis, Minn., at the Hyatt Regency, Oct. 22-24.

The Demeter Award of Excellence, named as such for Demeter, the goddess of the harvest from ancient Greek mythology, will be given in four categories. The categories and winners for 2013 are:

  • Female Executive of the Year: This category honors the achievements of executives and entrepreneurs who have achieved accomplishments of significance that further the mission of women in agribusiness. The winner in this category is Carol Kitchen, senior vice president/general manager of Global Ingredients for Land O'Lakes, Inc. Kitchen was selected for being a role model in support of women in agribusiness initiatives, in that she constantly strives to promote the agriculture and food sectors as career destinations for women, and serves as a mentor, providing an example of the skills that women need to become informed leaders in the industry.
  • Innovator of the Year*: This category recognizes individuals for the women's initiative innovations they create, develop, or launch, and/or those who have affected positive change in their companies or industries with regard to women's advancement. The efforts of Meshea Brody, manager at Bayer CropScience, in establishing a women's network with the goal of advancing women at Bayer earned her this award.
  • Leader of the Year*: The winner in this category, Amber Northcut, an analyst with Agrium Inc.'s Women's Leadership Group, was recognized for her efforts in this newly-created role.  Northcut supports Agrium's Women's Leadership Group's council and volunteer chapters in the development of mentoring, networking and learning opportunities to help women take charge of their careers.
  • Company/Organization: This award recognizes the achievements of organizations that have initiated programs to support achievements, programs and mentoring growth of women. Dow AgroSciences was chosen because of their continuously-improving, dedicated commitment to promoting the advancement of women in ag.

The recipients of the Demeter Award of Excellence were selected by the Women in Agribusiness National Advisory Board, which includes women in managerial and executive roles from Bunge Ltd., Cargill, U.S. Bank Food Industries, Kraft and Monsanto, to name a few of the 23 select companies represented on the board.  See the full list here.

"With our women in agribusiness initiatives we seek to bring together women in the industry to discuss their unique experiences, sharing challenges and achievements in an effort to advance all women in the sector," said Joy O'Shaughnessy, event director of the Women in Agribusiness Summit, which is hosted by agribusiness strategic advisory firm HighQuest Partners. 

"Recognizing key women who have excelled in this endeavor is our goal in presenting these awards, which we hope will further the mission and exemplify our belief that nurturing women's advancement is in the best interests of the agribusiness and food industries. Congratulations to all the winners!"

More than 400 attendees are expected at this year's Women in Agribusiness Summit, whose goals are twofold: to make the agriculture and food sectors career destinations for today's talented women, and to provide tools for women to become informed leaders in the industry. Visit for detailed event information and to register.

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