Learning and Growing

CAFNR student received scholarship to attend Women in Agribusiness Summit

You wouldn’t expect a grade school student to build a family farm, but Kim Stichnote says that’s what her daughter Alex Stichnote did.

Not coming from a production agriculture family, Alex became hooked on agriculture after attending the Ashland FFA’s Kids Barnyard as a child. Alex’s mom then enrolled her in the local 4-H club. Little did her mom know, Alex would soon begin bringing different animals home with her, thus building her family’s farm around her interests.

Now, Alex is a senior in agribusiness management at MU. She continues to bring things home with her, but rather than animals, now Alex is bringing home ideas and skills that will help her succeed in agribusiness after graduation.

Alex was one of 12 students selected to receive a scholarship to attend the Women in Agribusiness Summit on Sept. 24-26 in Denver, Colorado. The summit was presented by Women in Agribusiness, an organization dedicated to helping women excel in agriculture. The conference covered a breadth of topics related to the latest trends, outlooks and innovations in agriculture, as well as professional development that equips women to advance their careers, companies and the industry. Guest speakers included Dr. Temple Grandin, professor of animal science at Colorado State University, and Dr. Jacqueline Applegate, Bayer’s President of Environmental Science Worldwide.

The conference provided Alex with the opportunity to learn from women in agribusiness.

“Whenever I talked to women at the conference I was talking to them on a personal level,” Alex said.

“I got a lot of advice, and that’s really kind of what I went there for,” said Alex.

Aside from receiving advice, Alex also learned about various topics in agriculture, like industrial hemp. One of her favorite sessions was the technology innovation hour, which centered around four women who were inventing new technology for agriculture. The session featured a woman who created a collar for cows that was similar to a shock collar for dogs. It allows farmers to set up fences on their phone through an application, without having to set up a physical fence.

Alex encourages other students to apply for the scholarship to attend the summit. Interested students should apply on the Women in Agribusiness website. Applications will be posted in the spring.

“Don’t be afraid to really stick your neck out there,” said Alex. “This was one of those things that I applied for that I was like. ‘I’m never going to get this,’ and then I got it.”

The summit also needs students to volunteer at the conference. Even if you don’t receive one of the scholarships, Alex said to reach out and ask to volunteer at the conference.

“It’s a great opportunity for networking and it’s a great opportunity to learn first-hand,” Alex said.

The Division of Applied Social Sciences sponsored Alex’s travel to and from the conference through an undergraduate travel scholarship.