Women in Agriculture Educators
National Conference

March 28-29, 2012
Pre-Conference Seminar March 27, 2012

The 2012 Women in Agriculture Educators National Conference took place at The Peabody in downtown Memphis, Tennessee.

This biennial conference featured 3 keynote presentations, over 40 hours of individual concurrent session presentations, a networking reception which included a poster session, and a pre-conference seminar.

The Women in Agriculture Educators National Conference brings together private and public sector educators, crop insurance agents, lenders, and other agricultural professionals who are involved in outreach education, to share ongoing and emerging successful risk management education efforts directed toward women and their families who are involved in production agriculture. Conference participants learned about educational efforts which assist women producers to effectively manage financial, production, marketing, legal and human resource risks associated with their agribusinesses.

  • Production
  • Price or Market
  • Financial
  • Legal/Institutional
  • Human Risk

Our conference continues to grow! Over 180 participants from a variety of corporations, agencies and educational institutions attended the Women in Agriculture Educators National Conference in 2010.


2012 Keynote Speakers

Mary Kay Thatcher

Mary Kay Thatcher has worked as a lobbyist for the American Farm Bureau Federation for 25 years. She currently serves as Senior Director of Congressional Relations where she lobbies primarily on issues covering farm programs, fruits and vegetables, crop insurance, conservation and credit.

She is now serving in her second term as a member of the Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee for Trade on Tobacco, Cotton, Peanuts and Planting Seeds. This is one of six committees that provide the secretary of agriculture and the U.S. trade representative with advice with respect to trade policy priorities, negotiating objectives and bargaining positions on trade matters.

Mary Kay served in the “first” Bush Administration as a political appointee as the director of congressional and public affairs of the Farm Credit Administration. In that capacity, she was responsible for the policy direction and management of the agency’s congressional and public affairs activities.

Prior to joining AFBF in 1982, Thatcher served as a legislative assistant for agriculture and trade to Sen. Roger Jepsen of Iowa. She is a graduate of Iowa State University where she earned degrees in animal science and agricultural economics.

Thatcher grew up on a 500-acre Iowa beef, hay and corn farm. She now manages a farm in Iowa producing corn and soybeans, as well as a cow/calf operation.

Dr. Laura Kalambokidis

Laura Kalambokidis is an Associate Professor in the Department of Applied Economics and a University of Minnesota Extension Economist. She teaches Public Finance and does research on a range of federal and state tax issues. Her current research concerns tax incentives for economic development, state business tax policy, and subsidies for charitable contributions. Prior to joining the University of Minnesota, Dr. Kalambokidis worked as a financial economist in the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Tax Analysis.

Vicki Hebb

Vicki Hebb, a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe of South Dakota, is currently dedicated to Native Women & Youth in Ag (NWYIA), a non-profit she co-founded to focus on this group of individuals in an effort to increase awareness of agriculture on reservations, as well as engaging our youth in agriculture. Hebb serves as Executive Director to NWYIA. She started her career in Indian Ag with the national non-profit organization, Intertribal Agriculture Council (IAC), and continues to work with them as well. She has served on review panels for USDA, and as a consultant for different ag-based Indian Tribes throughout Indian Country. In April 2010, Vicki was chosen to sit on a panel of four women ag producers and professionals in Washington, DC to speak about her experience and expertise.

Vicki and her husband, Marty, are cow/calf producers on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation where they also raise bucking horses, enjoy roping, and put on rodeos as a family. She also volunteers her time to her Tribe on behalf of ag producers on her reservation, to ensure that programs are created and delivered locally. Vicki works cooperatively with many Tribes throughout Indian Country, as well as working with the Iowa State University to create and deliver a curriculum of “Annie’s Project” to agriculturally-based Tribes. Most recently, she was appointed to the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Animal Health (SACAH). The committee will serve 2 years, and will advise the Secretary of Agriculture on actions related to prevention, surveillance and the control of animal diseases of national importance.