Creating Energy and Opportunity - AWC West Recap 2016

While last week in Ontario, we were busy relaunch the AWN logo, AWN member Krista Goranson attended Advancing Women’s Conference West 2016 with her mom. Since we couldn't make it, we asked her to write about her experience and what she took away from the conference.

The Ladies! Over 560 of agriculture's finest

It’s the first day of the Advancing Women’s Conference in Calgary. I feel a surge of energy during the afternoon networking break when Katy Perry’s “Roar” blares throughout the reception area at the Hyatt Regency. I can’t help but feel as though this group of 560 women had really “made it” and this was our celebration as we shared stories and laughter...

I grew up on a grain farm and am from a farming family and community, but I don’t think I really appreciated what this meant until I left home, moved to the city and really settled into my career. Attending industry events, such as Advancing Women, is a great way to reflect, celebrate, and get energized for what’s ahead and there are so many exciting things ahead.

Selfie Time!! Krista and her mom, Bonnie at AWC West 2016

I was incredibly honoured to attend the event with my mom, a farm wife, career woman and community supporter. These honest and humble values are the foundation of what make women in agriculture so amazing.

I also couldn’t help but being struck by the stories of the speakers. It’s about how we are living our lives, the choices we make and how to own these decisions. Having the courage to be your best self and to live life by design is empowering and it’s a journey to get there. Chantelle Donahue, VP of Corporate Affairs with Cargill told us “There is no playbook in life. You need to make the best choice for you.” Carol Kitchen, CEO of UFA Cooperative told us “The world doesn’t come to you. You have to go find it.” These are meaningful messages calling us to reflect, make decisions and to act. The time is now.

Since the conference, I’ve had the opportunity to reflect on the experience and think of all the strong and confident female mentors that I’ve had in my life. I had the opportunity to reconnect with one of these mentors at the conference, and it meant a lot to me. It was so encouraging that mentor-ship was a strong theme at Advancing Women, as these connections help encourage and build us up to become the people we need to be to best serve the industry.

“The world doesn’t come to you. You have to go find it.”- Carol Kitchen, CEO of UFA Cooperative

It was an incredible and meaningful experience. I personally had the chance to connect with former colleagues and friends and share the experience with my mom. I am in the middle of starting a new professional chapter, and I couldn’t be happier. I look forward to attending again next year!

Follow Krista on twitter @kristagg1

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