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Four Iowa women honored for influential roles in agriculture
Iowa Ag Connection - 12/07/2023

The seventh annual Iowa Women in Ag Leadership Conference, organized by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, celebrated the achievements of four women with the Women Impacting Agriculture award.

This award recognizes individuals who significantly contribute to Iowa's agriculture through sustainable practices, economic resilience, and community involvement.

The 2022 honorees are Kellie Blair, Joanne Roepke Bode, Melissa O’Rourke, and Meredith Nunnikhoven. Each of these women has made remarkable contributions in their respective fields. Kellie Blair, alongside her family, runs Blair Farms in Webster County, focusing on sustainable crops and cattle farming.

Joanne Roepke Bode promotes Iowa agriculture in Kossuth County through her specialty crop business, Bode’s Moonlight Gardens. Meredith Nunnikhoven owns Barnswallow Flowers, a sustainable fresh-cut flower farm in Mahaska County, practicing regenerative farming.

Melissa O’Rourke, recently retired from Iowa State, has a rich history of supporting agriculture through education, legal practice, and hands-on farming.

These women have excelled in their agricultural endeavors and actively participated in community and educational initiatives, hosting field days, workshops, serving on agricultural boards, and contributing to community development projects. Their efforts have earned them numerous accolades and recognition, highlighting their commitment to advancing agriculture in Iowa.

The Women Impacting Agriculture program, presented by Marilee Jones and Lisa Scarbrough, highlights the growing role of women in agricultural leadership roles. The awards, presented at a conference with Farm Credit Services of America, highlight the need for sustainable and innovative agriculture. A video showcased their stories, inspiring others in the field.

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