On Wednesday, June 5, 2019, at 3:30 p.m. representatives from Illinois Agri-Women will present a check for $10,000 to Richland Community College for its support of the Women Changing the Face of Agriculture (WCFA) discovery project. The check presentation will take place in the lobby of the Andreas Agribusiness Education Center at Richland Community College.

“On behalf of the Illinois Agri-Women and the representatives of the agriculture businesses, agencies and commodity groups that participated in our career discovery project Women Changing the Face of Agriculture, I would like to share our gratitude for the phenomenal welcome and cooperation that we received from the entire Richland Community College staff and volunteers,” said Penny Lauritzen, IL Agri-Women, WCFA Committee. “We would not have been able to successfully reach out to the over 600 students who participated in the March event at Richland without the guidance and assistance of Teena Zindel-McWilliams, Director of Institutional and Academic Planning, Jess Smithers, Director of Agricultural Programs, and the entire Culinary Department.”

This WCFA event is strongly supported by the agriculture industry as it recognizes the need for a larger, more diverse workforce as demand for employees outstrips available graduates.

The $10,000 gift will be given to the Richland Community College Foundation and will be used in the following manner:

  • $1,000 scholarship to be awarded in the name of Teena Zindel-McWilliams to a female student enrolled in the Richland Agriculture Program who has also attended a WCFA conference
  • $1,000 scholarship to be awarded to a female student enrolled in the Richland Agriculture Program with preference to someone who has attended a previous WCFA conference
  • $3,000 for the Culinary Arts Institute at Richland Community College
  • $5,000 for the Richland Agriculture Program

Lauritzen added, “The success of Women Changing the Face of Agriculture to develop a community of women in the agriculture industry that are willing to network, mentor and encourage young women to dream big and fulfill their goals could not be achieved without the support of a community such as Richland Community College.”

The next WCFA event will be hosted by Richland Community College in March 2020.

Illinois Agri-Women (IAW) organizes The Women Changing the Face of Agriculture conference as an investment in the future of agriculture. This outreach project gives all women the opportunity to explore different career paths offered in the agriculture sector. Our goal is to help attendees receive accurate information first hand from actual women agriculture professionals.

IAW is a grassroots organization of farm and agri-businesswomen promoting a better understanding of agriculture and the family farm system. Our organization consists of members from across the state of Illinois who volunteer to promote agriculture.