News Women in Ag Bloom during Leadership Conference 

Women in Ag Bloom during Leadership Conference 

Women in Ag Bloom during Leadership Conference 
May 2, 2024 |

By Maggie Edwards 

Fellowship, fun and flower bouquets were farmer favorites during the Alabama Farmers Federation Women’s Leadership Conference April 10-12 in Auburn. 

The annual event was filled with leadership development and connection building, said Federation State Women’s Leadership Committee (WLC) Chair Debbie Dunn.

“Our women were blooming,” said Dunn of Geneva County. “The flowers brought out the personality of our attendees and set a joyful precedent.”

Thanks to sponsorships from Alabama Ag Credit and Alabama Farm Credit, a fresh light was brought to the conference. Happi Harvest flower farm in New Brockton provided the flower bar, while a pinky shimmery backdrop with larger-than-life flowers made for the perfect place to capture special moments. 

“Walking into the Hotel at Auburn University was breathtaking,” said Cherokee County WLC member Shelley East. “I enjoyed picking out some of my favorite flowers from the large display tables. Looking at all the varieties of flower types and colors made me realize that something as simple as a flower can bring back so many memories.” 

Additionally, the conference included educational sessions on farm taxes and professional organizing; legislative updates from the Federation’s Brian Hardin and Mitt Walker; the Farm-City Awards Program; and an inspiring keynote from author Lisa Ditchkoff. 

Guests at the Alabama Farmers Federation Women’s Leadership Conference enjoyed sessions focused on farm taxes and professional organizing April 10-12 in Auburn, AL.

Between those informative workshops, the agenda allowed for networking breaks, Dunn said.

“Those build unity,” said Dunn, who has served on the State WLC for six years. “When you see ladies who know other ladies, they light up when they see each other. Smiles make it worthwhile. As chair, I am blessed to have formed relationships all over the state.” 

This year, the leadership conference ventured to a new city, Dunn said. 

“While the Federation State WLC was planning the event for Auburn, our goal was to ensure our ladies loved the new location,” Dunn said. “Seeing the cheerful faces of all 200 women told us this was the right move.” 

Barbour County’s Ashley McCraney, right, met with author Lisa Ditchkoff after her inspirational keynote address.

That decision allowed involvement with Auburn University (AU) as mascot Aubie the Tiger, the AU Singers show choir and Miss AU Mary-Coker Green joined in the Federation fun. 

“Auburn was ideal,” said East, a first-time conference attendee. “This event prepared us to become better advocates for agriculture while instilling faith, family and farming as the core values of the organization. Bonds were strengthened within our county committees and with other women in agriculture across the state.”

The idea of forming relationships with like-minded women was on everyone’s mind, Dunn said. 

“All of us have a common thread,” Dunn said. “From Geneva County in the south to Lawrence County in the north, we are all family member with one mission — to be good advocates for agriculture.” 

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