The Women’s Leadership Committee hosted a webinar about “Women in Ag.” The panel of speakers included: Lorenda Overman, AFBF Women’s Leadership Committee, Vice President; Dr. Lora Bledsoe, a mobile veterinarian who owns her practice; Morgan Young, a CSU extension agent; and Ashley Baller, the current Miss Rodeo Colorado.
Each woman on the panel told their story of finding their niche in agriculture. For example, Lorenda Overman spoke about how she was married into agriculture, and due to her lack of agriculture background, she struggled with imposter syndrome. Now, 40 years later, she has held numerous leadership positions.
“Even though I wasn’t raised on a farm, I’d die fighting for it,” Overman said. She challenged the audience to “get out of your ‘Farm Bureau box’ and be an ag advocate in your community.”
Dr. Lora Bledsoe spoke about being the minority in a men-dominated profession, even more so as a large animal veterinarian. Dr. Bledsoe honed in on the key factors to her success.
“Be aware of who you are,” she said. Once you figure out who you are and your leadership style, you can best help others.
CSU extension agent, Morgan Young, highlighted the importance of 4-H and “building leaders through the 4-H experimental learning model of do, reflect, apply.” The moment that changed her career trajectory was when a young girl asked to join 4-H because the only person kind to her in school was another 4-H member. She challenged the audience to find engaging ways to interact with the youth of Colorado.
Ashley Baller rounded out the panel talking about her upbringing with horses and 4-H, which led her to her dream job as a manager for multilingual resources for the American Quarterhorse Association at an international level. She spoke about her position as Miss Rodeo Colorado and is excited to bring back the Mexican heritage celebration to the 100th anniversary Greeley Stampede. She closed by saying, “Be confident in who you are and what you can provide to others, and use your speaking skills, use your communication skills to be able to help others and mentor them.”
To skip to a speaker, go to the timestamps below.
4:55 Lorenda Overman
21:53 Dr. Lora Bledsoe
54:22 Morgan Young
1:23:52 Ashley Baller