Women in Agriculture Webinar Offers Powerful Insights

Joel Hastings

Jefferson County Economic Development presented a video webinar on women in agriculture on Sept. 24. The program is an episode in Farmers’ Luncheon Webinar Series.

According to Jay M. Matteson,  Agricultural Coordinator for the Development group, one of the people requesting the re-release of the video, Stephen Winkler, owner of Lucki – 7 Livestock Company said, “Jay, I almost wasn’t going to watch as I had a lot to do. Then I thought well, I’ll watch the first few minutes to see how it goes. An hour later, I was very happy I listened to these three young women.  Their messages were very powerful and insightful.”

The program can be found on YouTube:


Appearing on the program were Casey Porter, a 4th generation herdsperson at Porterdale Dairy Farm in Rodman, N.Y. Casey participated in many youth agriculture programs such as 4H and FFA and was Jefferson County Dairy Princess.  At approximately 43:00 minutes into the video, Casey delivers a powerful message about NY Farm labor laws and their impact on agriculture.

Allyson Jones – Brimmer is from Lorraine, N.Y., and attended South Jefferson High School, participating in 4H and FFA.  Allyson is now enjoying a career as the Director of Operations at the United States Sugar Beet Association in Washington D.C., after spending a few years working for the Animal Agriculture Alliance.   Allyson responds to an audience question about gender and other biases in agriculture at approximately 35:00 minutes into the video.

Ashley Willits originates from her family farm in Lewis County.  Ashley rose through the ranks of FFA to become an officer in National FFA and she now serves as the Deputy Director of External and Intergovernmental Affairs at the USDA in Washington D.C.   Ashley provided tremendous insight at approximately 23:00 on the importance of youth agricultural programs to attracting young people into agricultural careers.

Matteson said there is an appearance  at 3:25 into the program from Congresswoman Elise Stefanik from the (R-21st NY). Congresswoman Stefanik stopped by to congratulate Allyson, Ashley and Casey on their success and provided important updates on funding for the Coronavirus Food Assistance programs.

We are very excited to have our next Farmers’ Luncheon Webinar focus on the growth of plant based meat and beverage substitutes. Dr. Cheryl Mitchell, Senior Vice President of ingredient manufacturing at Steuben Foods in western NY will be joining us as our guest.  The program will be on October 22 at 12pm. Visit www.agricultureevents.com for more information and to register.

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