Women represent nearly half of the U.S. workforce, but just a handful hold leadership positions in dairy. IDFA believes the industry can learn a lot from these trailblazing leaders and has assembled a panel of distinguished women leaders to share their stories of success at Dairy Forum 2019, Jan. 20-23 in Orlando, Florida. “Because of their unique experiences, these women are well-equipped to advise dairy leaders on new ways to succeed, share the perspectives leaders might be missing in their businesses and forecast how women will shape the future of the dairy workforce,” said Cary Frye, IDFA senior vice president of regulatory affairs. “I encourage both women and men who are planning the future of our industry to attend.” The session, “Women Leading Forward,” will feature:
  • Miriam Erickson Brown, president and CEO, Anderson Erickson Dairy Company;
  • Beth Ford, president and CEO, Land O’Lakes, Inc.;
  • Marilyn Hershey, owner operator, Ar-Joy Farms LLC, and chairwoman, Dairy Management Inc.; and
  • Patricia Stroup, global vice president and head of commodities, Nestlé S.A.
Barbara Glenn, Ph.D., CEO of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, will moderate the panel, which will be held Jan. 21. The leaders will share their unique stories and ideas for encouraging more women to follow in their footsteps. They’ll also discuss the challenges they faced, the drive and determination they have and the opportunities that helped to shape their careers and many contributions to the dairy industry. “This panel is the product of a collaborative idea from women and created by women. It’s one of the ways IDFA is fostering this community in dairy and bringing recognition and visibility to trailblazing women who can serve as mentors to us all,” said Frye. “We hope to showcase their efforts as they build bridges for the next generation of leaders in our industry.”  

Trailblazing Leadersbrown

Miriam Erickson Brown

Brown became president and CEO of Anderson Erickson Dairy Company in Des Moines, Iowa, in 2006 after serving in various leadership roles at the company for more than 20 years. In addition to her leadership at the company, she invested much of her career representing independently owned dairies as chair of both IDFA and the Milk Processor Education Program’s boards of directors. She is also a board member and officer of The Innovation Center for US Dairy. Read more on Brown’s focus on quality and innovation at the nearly 90-year old company on AEdairy.com.

Beth Ford

Ford was named president and CEO of Land O’Lakes in St. Paul, Minnesota, this year after serving in a series of successful executive posts since she joined the company in 2011. In her 31-year career, Ford has held senior leadership positions in seven companies across six industries, including with Mobil Oil, Pepsi/Pepsi Bottling Group, Perseco, Scholastic, Hachette Book Group and International Flavors and Fragrances. Read more about Ford and the best advice she ever received as a leader in “7 questions with Land O' Lakes executive and Sioux City native Beth Ford.”

Barbara Glenn, Ph.D.

Glenn joined NASDA in Washington, D.C., as CEO in 2014. She is a scientist with decades of experience as a policy researcher and advocate for agriculture. Before joining NASDA, she served as the senior vice president of science and regulatory affairsfor CropLife America. Prior to that, Glenn served as managing director of the Animal Biotechnology, Food and Agriculture Section of the Biotechnology Industry Association. Read more about Glenn and her plans as a leader in “Dr. Barbara P. Glenn Reflects on 100 Years of NASDA and the Work Ahead.”

Marilyn Hershey

Hershey and her husband, Duane, own and operate Ar-Joy Farms LLC, a 550-cow dairy Cochranville, Pa., that they have operated for more than 30 years. She also is the first female chair of Dairy Management Inc. and was named the Dairy Woman of the Year at World Dairy Expo 2017.   Read more about Hershey and her views as a leader in the dairy industry in “Marilyn Hershey of Cochranville is Dairy Woman of the Year” and “3 open minutes with Marilyn Hershey.”

Patricia Stroup

Stroup is the global vice president and head of commodities at Nestlé in Vevey, Switzerland, which she joined in 2006. Before that, she was director of dairy procurement and policy at the Hilmar Cheese Company in California and, prior to that, director of communication, education and legislation at the Maryland and Virginia Milk Producers in Virginia. Read more about Stroup and her drive to make a positive global impact through her leadership in “Meet Patty Stroup: The Woman Connecting Nestlé to Thousands of Farmers.”

Dairy Forum 2019

Dairy Forum 2019 will be held Jan. 20-23 at The Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes in Orlando, Florida. Registration is open online. For more information, contact Melissa Lembke, IDFA director of programs and partnerships, at mlembke@idfa.org.