WATERTOWN, N.Y. — The September 24, 2020 Farmers’ Luncheon Webinar series will focus on women in agriculture. The three panelists are women early in their agricultural careers. One common thread between the three is participation in FFA. Is FFA the critical piece of bringing more young people into agricultural careers? The webinar is from noon to 1pm and open to anyone. Those interested in signing up for the free webinar should visit www.agricultureevents.com.
Jay Matteson, webinar host and Jefferson County Agricultural Coordinator, indicates the program is more of a kitchen table type conversation between Jay and his guests. Jay interviews his guests and invites the audience to submit questions that are integrated into the conversation. This is an informal program and is fun and informative.
The guests for the September 24 webinar are three women who are enjoying success early in their careers. All three have a strong background in FFA, a dynamic youth organization that changes lives and prepares members for premier leadership, personal growth and career success.
Allyson Jones – Brimmer – Allyson is a Jefferson County native who was involved in FFA at an early age. She currently serves as Director of Operations for the U.S. Beet Sugar Association, which represents the nation’s beet sugar cooperatives in Washington, DC. Prior to joining U.S. Beet, Allyson worked as director of industry relations for the Animal Agriculture Alliance. The Alliance is a nationwide nonprofit organization working to bridge the communication gap between farm and fork. She previously worked as a crop insurance agent at Farm Credit East. Allyson holds a B.S. in animal science and agricultural science education and an M.A.T. in agricultural education from Cornell University.
Ashley Willits – Ashley is a Lewis County NY native who grew up on the family’s farm raising dairy heifers and Boer Goats . Ashley graduated from Tarleton State University, is a former National FFA Officer and current Deputy Director of External and Intergovernmental Affairs at the United States Department of Agriculture.
Casey Porter – Casey Porter is the fourth generation member of Porterdale Farms in Rodman, NY. She has long been passionate about cows and the dairy industry, having grown up heavily involved in 4-H, FFA, and the Dairy Princess Program. Upon graduating from Cornell University, Casey returned to the home farm where she currently works as a herdsperson.
The Women in Agriculture webinar will explore the impact participating in programs like FFA and Dairy Princess programs had on the three guests. Mr. Matteson plans to explore with his guests what challenges they faced and the opportunities Allyson, Ashley and Casey took advantage of. The three will be challenged with looking at the future of the agricultural industry and sharing what their thoughts are on that future. “I am very excited to have all three of these successful women join me for the conversation” Jay said. “They represent the future of agriculture” he added.
The Farmers’ Luncheon webinar series is held monthly and they have a great lineup of guests. On October 22, Dr. Cheryl Mitchell from Steuben Foods will join Jay to discuss the growth of plant based meat and dairy substitutes. Dr. Frank Mitloehner from the University of California Davis will join Jay to share his research on the impact of agriculture on Climate Change. Then in December Jay will interview “The Farm Babe”, Michelle Miller about her agricultural advocacy work. Make sure to visit www.agricultureevents.com to learn more and register for these events.
The Farmers’ Luncheon Webinar series is sponsored by Midway International Logistics, National Grid Energy Efficiency and Economic Development Programs, Great Lakes Cheese Company, Development Authority of North Country, Afgritech – manufacturer of AminoMax Feed Supplement, American Dairy Association Northeast, Converse Laboratories, Lundy Group of Companies and Jefferson County Farm Bureau.
–Jefferson County Economic Development