Skip to content
From left to right: Hannah Woodhouse, Christiana Onyinoyi Obari, Fatimatzahra Muhammad, Stephanie Lam.

Student experience: Attending the Advancing Women in Agriculture conference

From November 19-21, hundreds of women in the agricultural industry from around North America gathered in Niagara Falls to attend the 10th annual Advancing Women in Agriculture East conference (AWC East).

Representatives from all aspects of agriculture were present, including producers, entrepreneurs, CEOs, researchers, and students. The days were packed with motivational speakers, inspiring stories, round table discussions, thought-provoking workshops and endless networking with women in agriculture.

The student sponsorship program funds students from post-secondary institutions to attend the conference by pairing each student with a company sponsor. This year, 17 students from colleges and universities across Canada were supported to attend. Of them, nine were from the University of Guelph, with four leading research in dairy: Patty Kedzierski, Fatimatzahra Muhammad and Christiana Onyinoyi Obari, and myself, Hannah Woodhouse. Stephanie Lam also attended and spoke at the Nuffield Scholar presentation.

Student-sponsored participants at the Advancing Women in Agriculture Conference.
Student-sponsored participants at the Advancing Women in Agriculture Conference.

This was my second time attending the conference (the first was during my undergraduate degree in 2019), but it felt like a new experience. There were new people to meet, different workshops to attend and new speakers to listen to. I am grateful to Dairy Farmers of Canada as my sponsor this year.

In addition to the scheduled conference events, I was invited to the Female Entrepreneurs in Agri-Food Development (FEAD) table talk and participated in discussions about agri-food production and product innovation. I took part in workshop sessions focussed on personal development and skill enhancement, but there were others covering mental health, succession planning and government programming.

I was selected to represent the dairy industry in a panel discussion with Agriculture and Agri-food Canada. We discussed important topics including food production, sustainability and food waste reduction to help inform Canada’s Food Policy.

The AWC East conference was a wonderful experience to meet other women in agriculture, listen to inspiring speakers and gain knowledge about different sectors of the agricultural industry and further develop personal skills. I highly recommend others to consider attending and applying to the student sponsorship program in future years!

Written by Hannah Woodhouse

Back To Top