[ Background music plays
throughout the video ]>>Krysta Harden: Women
have been involved in agriculture forever. It’s just how we recognize,
how we talk about it, how we appreciate, how we
value their contributions. It is not something that’s new.>>Narrator: Today, 30% of
American farmers are women and about half of agriculture
firm employees are women but they still have extremely
low rates of farm ownership, corporate board memberships and
policy-making positions. On February 8, 2016, more than
100 women from 13 states gathered at the
University of Georgia to discuss leadership roles
for women in agriculture at the inaugural
Southern Region Women’s Agricultural Leadership Summit. Their goal was simple … to find ways to support female
leaders in the ag sector.>>Krysta Harden: We have
voices, we have loud voices. We’re making the decisions
for our own families. What is more important
than that? Making sure they’re also
heard as we’re talking about policies and decisions;
that elected officials recognize the role
that we play. That we’re serving on
boards and commissions and county committees;
that we are in that shortlist for CEO and dean and
actually getting chosen.>>Narrator: Summit delegates
identified three major needs. A need for more
support among peers.>>Caula Beyl: We don’t do
enough to support each other. If you’ve ever noticed, men
at the table – at a conference table – somebody will raise a
point and the guys will go “Oh, good idea, Joe,” “Good idea, Bill.” How many women “Hey,
Nancy, great idea?” You’ve got to express
those things and you have to be supportive
of each other.>>Krysta Harden: We need
to embrace each other. We need to help each other,
to encourage each other, to make sure that we recognize
them, we encourage them, and make sure
that they happen.>>Narrator: A need for
more formal mentoring.>>Krysta Harden: We can
do it if we help each other, empower each other.>>Narrator: And a need for women
to take up leadership roles they have not traditionally
been offered.>>Caula Beyl: When a door
opens, we don’t have to wait for someone to push
us through the door; you can step
through the door. You are the architect
of your future.>>Camille Scales Young:
It’s very important that we believe in ourselves,
that we believe in ourselves enough to speak up. We believe in ourselves
enough to go when no one else is going to go. And we believe in ourselves
enough to do when no one else is going to do.>>Caula Beyl: Leadership
is not something that somebody appoints you to. If you wait for an opportunity
to step into leadership and you wait for somebody
to appoint you, you may be waiting
a long time.>>Narrator: The Southern
Region Women’s Agricultural Leadership Summit’s
organizing committee will publish the report
from the summit. To read the full report and
to find out more about how you can support women
in agriculture, visit www.womeninag.caes.uga.edu © 2016 University of Georgia College of Agricultural and
Environmental Sciences UGA Extension