2021 Women in Agriculture Conference exclusively online


MENDOTA - Farm women and all those involved in the agriculture industry should plan to attend the Women in Agriculture Conference, scheduled for Friday, March 26. This year’s mini conference is being held exclusively online to help women become empowered in agriculture.

The conference, now in its ninth year, will feature keynote speaker Jason Medows, host of the popular Ag State of Mind podcast. Medows’ presentation will be “MENTAL HEALTH: What it is, how it affects us in agriculture and what we can do to improve.” Using real-life examples from his own experience, he will discuss the mental health challenges faced in agriculture. His focus will be on strategies and solutions for improving mental health and he will conclude by speaking directly to women about how they can positively influence the men in their lives.

Medows was born and raised on his family’s cow calf operation outside of Cuba, Mo. He grew up playing football and baseball and was involved in his local 4-H. In 2002, he left the farm for St. Louis College of Pharmacy. After graduating with his Doctor in Pharmacy in 2008, he returned home to work at a local hospital and continue the cow-calf operation he started in college. At that local hospital, he met his future wife, Keri. Twelve years later, they have four boys and have purchased another farm of their own.

In 2019, Jason began his podcast Ag State Of Mind, in which he combined his medical background with his passion for agriculture to help break the stigma surrounding mental health in agriculture.

The conference will wrap up with Rita Frazer, Director of Network and Audio Services for the RFD Radio Network, and Adam Nielsen, Director of National Legislation and Policy Development in the Governmental Affairs and Commodities Division of the Illinois Farm Bureau. Frazer and Nielsen’s topic will be “Advancing Farm Bureau’s Issues in the 117th Congress” with a discussion on how to effectively communicate agriculture’s message with a new administration.

Frazer and her team gather farm news and information and cover issues that are important to the Illinois Farm Bureau. RFD reports and programs are heard first on-the-air of affiliated stations, and most programs can be found later in the day on the web or as podcasts. She is a 30-year member and immediate past president of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting and an award-winning broadcaster who has covered farm news and events on a state and national basis. She uses her farm roots and years of broadcasting experience to communicate effectively with listeners and has devoted her career to serving agriculture. 

Nielsen plans and executes the organization’s national legislative programs, acts as a liaison with the Illinois Congressional delegation and federal agencies, and organizes the association’s fly-ins to Washington, D.C. He is also responsible for the implementation of IFB’s policy development program, coordinates the Illinois Agricultural Legislative Roundtable, a group of all agriculture associations and organizations within Illinois, and serves as assistant secretary of ACTIVATOR, IFB’s political involvement committee. He joined Illinois Farm Bureau in 2000 and served three terms as a member of the Normal Town Council.

There is no cost to attend. Registration is now open by contacting any of the sponsoring county farm bureaus in Illinois or by registering online at womeninagricultureconference.com.

The Conference is sponsored by the Farm Bureau Women in Agriculture Conference Committee and COUNTRY Financial.