NFU 2017 Women’s Conference:

Shaping the Future

NFU's 2017 Women's Conference theme is "Shaping the Future." Women have been shaping the future of agriculture for many years, and NFU hopes to build on this idea throughout the conference.

The conference will prepare attendees and their operations for their own future in many areas, including: business planning, succession planning, running for local office, networking, telling their own stories, innovative marketing and much, much more. NFU hopes to provide attendees with a network of female producers that they can reach out to throughout the year, as well as provide attendees with useful risk management tools that will help set their operations up for a future of success.

We are very excited about the conference and hope you can join us March 3-5, in San Diego California!

Check out the tentative agenda here, and read more on our speakers, location, and registration below!

Register now and receive Lisa Kivirist’s “Soil Sisters” book for free!

Featured Speakers

Audra Mulkern, Keynote

Audra Mulkern is a cook, writer and photographer who is putting good food in the spotlight and changing the way you look at farming and the food on your plate. She writes and photographs “The Female Farmer Project” – a chronicle of in-depth stories about the rise of women working in agriculture around the world.

The Female Farmer Project has garnered international recognition, and has been featured in Huffington Post, Modern Farmer, grist and a number of magazines, was recently in exhibition at United Nations in New York, IFAD building in Rome, FarmAid30, TEDxManhattan 2015 and won the Cascade Harvest Coalition Wendell Berry award for 2015.

Read her full bio here.

Lisa Kivirist, Keynote

Lisa Kivirist is an Endowed Chair at the Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture and leads the Rural Women’s Project, a woman-farmer training initiative of the Midwest Organic & Sustainable Education Service (MOSES).

She is the author of Soil Sisters: A Toolkit for Women Farmers, along with Homemade for Sale, Farmstead Chef, ECOpreneuring and Rural Renaissance and was named by In Business Magazine as a “Woman of Industry” for leadership growing the women in sustainable agriculture movement. Lisa and her family run the award-winning Inn Serendipity Farm and B&B in Wisconsin, completely powered by the wind and sun. Lisa serves as treasurer of the Wisconsin Farmers Union South Central Chapter and is the unofficial local women farmer potluck instigator.

Check out her bio here.

Kriss Marion

Kriss Marion is a first-generation farmer in Blanchardville, Wisconsin, and president of the Wisconsin Farmers Union South Central Chapter. She serves on the Lafayette County Tourism board and the Blanchardville Woman’s Club.

Though she’s not a dairy farmer, she gets up at 4am every morning to teach Boot Camp in the high school gym at 4:45am or greets the sun in a nearby goat barn where she practices Ashtanga Yoga. Her Circle M Market Farm features a vegetable CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), field-to-table dinners, poultry, livestock, a bed and breakfast, fiber arts, and a variety of classes---including fitness!

Check out her bio here.

Bridget Holcomb

Bridget Holcomb is the Executive Director of the Women, Food and Agriculture Network. Bridget received her Master’s of Public Affairs with an emphasis on nonprofit management from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.

Prior to that she worked in sustainable agriculture advocacy at the Michael Fields Agricultural Institute and the Illinois Stewardship Alliance. A native of Northern Minnesota, Bridget has focused her work on clean water, soil conservation, and making a sustainable living from the land.

Check out her bio here.

Madeline Schultz

Madeline Schultz is the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Women in Ag Program Manager. In this role, she works to develop educational programs, increase connections among women in agriculture, build the professional capacity of educators, and steward funding in order to help women improve their lives and contribute to national food security.

Schultz coordinates Iowa’s Annie’s Project courses. She contributed leadership to Annie’s Project nationally from 2008 to 2015. Annie’s Project is a national farm management education program for women; Schultz co-founded the Women in Agriculture Learning Network in 2014 at

Check out her full bio and session description here.

Shannon Ferrell

Shannon Ferrell is currently an Associate Professor in the Oklahoma State University Department of Agricultural Economics, where he specializes in Agricultural Law. He grew up on a cattle and wheat operation in Western Oklahoma, and obtained his Bachelors and Masters degrees in Agricultural Economics from OSU.

As a member of the Department of Agricultural Economics, Shannon holds an extension and teaching appointment. Since joining Oklahoma State University, he has provided over 300 extension seminars and workshops throughout North America with a cumulative audience in excess of nearly 19,000 while authoring over fifty extension publications, including serving as lead author on the Farm Transition Workbook. His extension activities encompass all areas of agricultural law, and he also teaches the agricultural law courses at both Oklahoma State University and the University of Oklahoma College of Law.

Check out his bio here.

Poppy Davis

Poppy Davis teaches and advises on agricultural business and policy issues affecting family-scale farmers and ranchers, related associations, and community efforts to support equitable and resilient food and farming systems.

She worked eight years at the USDA, most recently as the National Program Leader for Small Farms and Beginning Farmers and Ranchers. Previously she was a California CPA with an emphasis in agricultural enterprises and non-profits. She holds a Juris Doctor from Drake University Law School, a Masters in Journalism from Georgetown, and a BS in Agricultural Economics from the University of California at Davis.

Check out her bio here.

Charlotte Smith

Charlotte Smith is the owner of Champoeg Creamery & Charlotte Smith Pastured meats, a diversified farm including a raw milk micro-dairy, grass fed beef, pastured pigs & poultry in Oregon’s lush Willamette Valley operated on her 5th generation family farm.

After witnessing too many farmers going out of business due to not being sustainable, she founded, an online marketing training company helping farmers across the nation learn online marketing techniques to grow a successful business.

Check out her bio here.

Location - Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa in San Diego, California
Room rates end Jan. 31. Reservations can be made by phone:
Room Rate - $179+tax (available 2/27-3/11)
Registration: $75

A special thank you to sponsors of NFU's Women's Conference!