Amanda Rogers of Forest, VA was selected to receive a scholarship for the 2016 Women in Agribusiness Summit, the first time a student from Virginia Tech had attended.
Returning from the event, Amanda said that the experience overall was “one of the greatest opportunities presented to me while at Virginia Tech.”
It was through the generous support of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) and Virginia Tech’s own Kohl Centre initiative, that Rogers was able to attend the multi-day conference in Chicago this year.
Kim Morgan, Kohl Centre Director and Assistant Professor of Agricultural and Applied Economics, nominated Amanda for the scholarship noting that “with Amanda’s earlier out-of-classroom experience and her hard work for me over the summer, she earned my nomination.”
Rogers worked with Morgan previously in helping a Virginia-based food processing facility manager build a pricing calculator for their value-added food product recipes. Through this endeavor Rogers showed her commitment to the agricultural community, her ability to apply classroom knowledge in a real-world setting, and her investment to the Virginia Tech motto Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), completing the task on her own time without credit or financial reimbursement.
Upwards of 600 women attended the summit from over 100 agribusiness companies and topics such as “Selling in a Man’s World,” “Ushering in a New Generation of Ag Leaders,” and “Communicating Ag Values” were addressed and discussed.
A big focus at the conference was overcoming women’s issues in the industry. Several speakers hit on the importance of having confidence and looking for ways to stand out in a predominantly male field.
“The women at the summit were all amazing and an inspiration to me as I move into a career in agriculture. I met so many great people in different fields. It really opened up my eyes to different career paths,” said Rogers reflecting on her time at the Summit.
Rogers gained “connections and also friendships with representatives from Farm Credit, Cargill, CoBank, Smithfield, Bunge, and many more,” speaking with 11 different firms in total.
Rogers continues to express her commitment to the field by sharing her experiences with other students, and being an active participant in the department. “We are excited to see Amanda move forward in her agricultural career,” said Morgan, “and hope to send more students to the summit in coming years to provide them with similar experiences to foster professional development, for not only themselves, but for other students, and in so doing, enrich our program and the industry.”