Celebrating Women in Agriculture

Posted March 19th, 2024 | By: John Maman

Women's History Month, culminating on March 8th with International Women's Day, serves as a profound source of inspiration for future generations of women in agriculture. By shining a spotlight on the remarkable stories of successful women in diverse agricultural roles, this empowering month encourages young girls, including my own, to fearlessly pursue careers in the field. It equips them with the confidence to harness their talents, make meaningful contributions to the industry, and positively impact their communities.

While agriculture has traditionally been ­­centered on the roles played be men, we are witnessing an inspiring shift as more women are making their mark in this field. In fact, the USDA’s Census of Agriculture shows that female producers accounted for 36% of all producers in 2022 and that 58% of all farms had at least one female decision maker. Today, an increasing number of talented women are joining the agriculture industry, bringing their unique skills and perspectives to contribute to its success, both in and out of the field.

Many members from my team grew up on or around farms and they carry those roots with them as they help our Nutrien Ag Solution’s customers, some while still working on their own farms. We asked our female Territory Finance Managers what advice they’d give to other women who are considering a career in agriculture or ag finance, and here’s what they had to say:

“The ag industry needs you! In my seven years working for Nutrien Ag Solutions, I have witnessed a great shift in women joining our teams. They are respected by growers and fellow coworkers, and they make the workplace a happier place to be.” - Liz Schmidt

“Don’t think twice about joining our industry - just do it! The agriculture industry is made up of the most amazing folks you’ll ever get to work with: true, salt-of-the-earth stewards of the land who have a passion for the industry. I think for women, it can be intimidating being heavily outnumbered at events, meetings, field days. As the finance expert in my area, I’ve learned that if you can prove to be a trusted person, gender doesn’t matter. Any manager worth their salt wants to see their employees succeed and they will help you succeed if you have the drive. I have never felt being a woman has held me back in either the agriculture or finance industries. And the best part is there’s never a long line at the women’s bathroom!” - Andrea Herbst

“Find a mentor in the industry who is invested in your success. For me, this was my professor and college advisor. I also recommend job shadowing other women working in agriculture to learn from their experiences.” - Allyson Bise

“Don’t let intimidation hold you back. There are so many opportunities available for anyone who wants to make a career in agriculture. If you are interested in a specific path, take a chance and try it out. Leverage the networks available to you. Find yourself a mentor or two (it doesn’t have to be a formal mentorship but there are some amazing programs available). Leaning on others and supporting each other is more important than any title you can achieve.” - Carrie Cholak

“Agriculture is a very tight-knit community – the most important thing you can carry is your reputation. If you lose a grower’s trust or confidence in you, that could ruin your career, as most things travel by word of mouth through this community.” - Jacquelyn Fernandes

“There once was a time that agriculture was mainly represented by men, but that isn’t the case anymore. As a woman, you can do anything you set your mind to. Agriculture has a bright future and the possibilities are endless.” - April Tutor

“Don’t see yourself as an outlier because of your gender. Being a woman in agriculture is much more socially acceptable today than it was 30 years ago. However, one of the best pieces of advice ever given to me by my college ag professor is ‘do not try to be a man in a man’s world – be a lady.’ Be strong and independent. Be known as the person capable of getting the job done. It’s ok to not know everything! The values in agriculture run consistent and deep: honesty, integrity, respect, hard work and accountability will take you far! Step outside of your comfort zone. Agriculture is not for the faint of heart, but the rewards far outweigh the obstacles.” - Hollie Rudy

As the agriculture industry embraces innovation including new technologies and enhanced sustainability programs, it becomes an even more attractive industry to be a part of.  I asked our female financing experts why more women should join our industry, both in the field and out of the field, and here’s what they said:

“When you diversify a team or workforce, you bring new ideas and methods to the table that may not have been considered if only working with people of similar opinions and backgrounds. Empowered women in agriculture also motivate other women to enter the industry.” - Allyson Bise

“I see this as important because future generations are watching us. It’s important to set that example and to encourage the trend. Agriculture is an industry that will always exist, people will always need to eat. Job security in the agriculture industry is bright.” - April Tutor

“Women can be a catalyst for change in agriculture. In many places, deeply ingrained customs and traditions can keep women from making a positive impact. We need girl power! We have a story to tell – one of leadership and resilience.  Women bring a different perspective and set of skills to the industry.” - Hollie Rudy

“Women bring unique perspectives, and we are problem solvers by nature. Our ideas add diversity to the ag industry.” - Liz Schmidt

“I’m not someone who thinks women have something to prove by being in the ag or finance industries, or any industry for that matter. I think as long as you’re capable of doing the work, gender doesn’t matter. While we may be the minority, I don’t think we’re the underdog. I do think it’s beneficial to have women involved because we can provide a different way of thinking or perspective on how to approach situations.” - Andrea Herbst

“Women offer a different perspective and skill set than men.” - Carrie Cholak

Women are unleashing their power and making remarkable contributions in the agriculture industry, bringing their wisdom and strength to the forefront and supporting agriculture in a variety of ways. The words of wisdom echo loudly from our Nutrien Financial women: take the leap and embrace the incredible opportunities that the ag industry holds, seek out mentors who can guide and inspire, banish intimidation and nurture the relationships within your network that will fuel your journey to greatness. Let their powerful advice ignite your own path of success in agriculture.


I’m immensely humbled to be surrounded by such an exceptional team. The strength of a team lies in the diversity and collaboration of its members. We aim to actively cultivate a culture of inclusivity and embrace the power of diverse perspectives and experiences. Our commitment to fostering a strong culture of diversity not only empowers women, but also contributes to the collective success and growth of the entire team. Together, Nutrien Ag Solutions and Nutrien Financial’s remarkable teams are driving positive change and making a lasting impact in the agriculture industry. Interested in a career that embraces diversity? Check out Nutrien’s job postings page.

John Maman

Senior Director, Nutrien Financial Business Development


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