Agribusiness Event Brings Together Simplot Women, Expertise, Innovation

Published online: Nov 05, 2023 Articles
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Music City became an agribusiness hub as women from across the J.R. Simplot Company’s business attended the Women in Agribusiness (WIA) Conference in Nashville at the end of September. The event, which Simplot was a key (and founding!) sponsor of, was a great opportunity for Simplot employees to connect and network with other women across the agriculture field.

This was the 12th year of the Women in Agribusiness Summit. The event nurtures a recognized agribusiness community where the sharing of business knowledge and industry innovations is at the forefront of helping women excel in the sector. At Simplot, we are also deeply committed to important role of womens leadership – in our company and within the business sectors and industries we work in every day, such as agribusiness.

At the conference, three days of cutting-edge agribusiness industry discussions followed an inspiring keynote. A wealth of presentations offered valuable insights, as Simplot attendees built their knowledge about the latest trends, outlooks, and innovations in ag, learned through visits with influential leaders, and participated in professional development opportunities.

Knowledge was shared in multiple engaging ways and on multiple learning tracks; employees attended classes, workshops, field trips, panel discussions and roundtables. Topics included supply chain; labor issues; consumer pricing fluctuations; recruitment trends; media training; inclusion and workforce transformation; and how to have a voice at the table, not just a seat. All were very relevant to the important work we do at Simplot every day.

“What an incredible group of women from J.R. Simplot Company are here at WIA — Women in Agribusiness this week in Nashville,” Simplot Culture, Engagement and Inclusion Director Angela Baylis posted on LinkedIn. “I’m so proud to be amongst such incredible women and leaders from across the ag industry including my peers Angie Griffin and Kala Killworth to learn and grow. Thank you, Simplot!”

Simplot’s own AgriBusiness Vice President of Finance Jana Owens, Vice President and Controller Lori Downing and AgriBusiness Senior Director of HR Kala Killworth spoke at the conference. Their session on finance and business acumen was filled with relevant and understandable information — even for folks who don’t work in finance. It included tips on how to reframe your attitude towards finance, multiple opportunities for audience participation, relevant stories, and details about why finance matters to everything we all do regardless of job function.

Presenting at the conference was one of several highlights for Owen. “I am humbled and inspired by the opportunity to attend and speak at WIA,” she said. “It was truly amazing to connect with so many women across various agribusiness industries, as well as networking with our own internal team members. I am thankful that Simplot provides such visible growth and development opportunities for our own women in ag,” she added.

“Watching three of our very own women from Simplot talk about financial strategy was nothing short of incredible,” said Talent Acquisition Director Angie Griffin. “They brought both humor and interactive insights, showcasing an exceptional opportunity to celebrate the incredible women in agriculture, uniting us through our shared passion and dedication of feeding our world.”

Added Killworth, “WIA was an amazing opportunity to showcase the fantastic talent that we have across Simplot while also celebrating the impact women are having in agriculture. I left awed, inspired, and grateful to work alongside individuals with such a passion for our industry, our people, and our company. We were Simplot Strong.”