News Women in Ag Bloom during Leadership Conference 

Women in Ag Bloom during Leadership Conference 

Women in Ag Bloom during Leadership Conference 
April 16, 2024 |

By Maggie Edwards

Fellowship, fun and flower bouquets were farmer favorites during the 2024 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 for the week.”

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 pink, 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; Farm-City Luncheon; and an inspiring keynote from author Lisa DitchKoff. 

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

“Those build unity,” said Dunn, who has served the 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.” 

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

“Auburn was ideal,” said East, who attended the conference for the first time. “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 here,” Dunn said. “From Geneva County in the south to Lawrence County in the north, we are all family with one mission — to be good advocates for agriculture.” 

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