Women in Ag Tech Hold First Meeting

Cindy Zimmerman

A new organization was born in Des Moines this week at the 2023 Tech Hub LIVE Conference and Expo – Women in Ag Tech or WiAT (pronounced wyatt).

It was a year ago at the 2022 Tech Hub LIVE in Indianapolis that Meister Media Worldwide CEO Gary Fitzgerald mentioned the idea to new CropLive Media Group Editor Lara Sowinski and after a few phone calls it became evident that there was a definite need for such an organization. A group of ambassadors was formed and many virtual meetings were held and the end result was a packed room for the first in-person meeting held on Monday afternoon prior to the welcome party for Tech Hub LIVE.

Organizers initially hoped for 60 women to attend, but registration was topped 80 and the actual turnout was closer to 100. Guest speaker Dr. Karen St. Germain, Earth Science Division Director for NASA, provided a fascinating glimpse into how space technology helps agriculture and also set the stage for a broader discussion on the role of women in the technology space as a whole.

“Women bring a different perspective, they bring different questions, they bring different experience and expertise,” she said. “The quality of the science is all about the quality of the questions you ask.”

St. Germain called the WiAT meeting “energizing” and that was almost an understatement. There was tremendous enthusiasm and participation in the short breakout brainstorming sessions where the women discussed how to promote and grow the group, design mentorship and networking opportunities, and just keep the momentum going. Women who are interested are urged to get in touch with the group through their Women in Ag Tech LinkedIn group.

Listen to this interview with Dr. St. Germain to learn more about what NASA does for agriculture and women in technology.
2023 Tech Hub LIVE interview Dr. Karen St. Germain, NASA (4:26)

2023 Tech Hub LIVE Conference and Expo photo album

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