Co-op boards need ag women's perspective and knowledge

January 4, 2018

Keri JacobsKeri Jacobs, assistant professor presented at the Women in Ag Leadership conference Nov. 27-28, 2017 at the Scheman Building.

“It's really obvious as you look across the landscape in Iowa–and this is true in other states as well–that ag boards struggle with how to engage women in co-op governance,” said Jacobs in a story in Successful Farming. 

While serving on a cooperative board includes a lot of a responsibility and time commitment, Jacobs assures producers they aren’t expected to know it all from day one.

“I think any new board member feels overwhelmed. There's a lot of information you're asked to process, and you don't really, at that point, understand how all the information fits together or what you're supposed to do with it,” Jacobs says.

Farmers shouldn’t let fears of asking questions or being embarrassed keep them from pursuing leadership, Jacobs says. “Any new board member should know that they are coming on to the board and the first several years, for sure the first year, will be spent learning and asking questions. What I would add to that is the rest of the board, who has more experience, benefits a lot by the questions that the inexperienced people ask.”

Read Successful Farming story