|3/17/2023 11:17:00 AM|
Ag leadership organization celebrates 25 years; women leaders being shaped by North Branch alum
by DENISE MARTINThe native Chisago County farm kid, currently leading an important women in agriculture organization, should not be a surprise to anybody who knew her back when. As Doris Mold was growing up on the family farm near Harris, her mother Sarah was the first female elected to be a Chisago County Commissioner. Doris’s dad Melvin was involved in Farm Bureau and the American Dairy Association. They made sure Doris got to her FFA and 4H meetings and supported her in contributing volunteer hours at the county fair.
Doris still assists in 4H and at the dairy cattle show, and you can also find her at the State Fair in her role as Milking Parlor and “Moo Booth” supervisor.
One day each week she teaches at the St Paul campus of the U-of-M in Farm and AgriBusiness Management.
But over the next few weeks, Doris will be immersed in making the 25th annual Women’s Ag Leadership Conference (WALC) happen.
The event is at the MN Landscape Arboretum in mid-April. Best to register before March 31.
The conference attracts those interested in women’s agricultural leadership regardless of age, affiliations or gender. For the brochure and more details, see womensagleadership.org.
Mold recalls, “Back in 1998 when Robin Kinney and I discussed ways to better empower women in agriculture we could only dream of what WALC would become. Each year we’ve provided an expanding list of attendees with a balance of personal and professional development programming covering timely, related topics.”
Mold reports more than 3,700 women have been reached attending these WALC sessions.
This 25th anniversary theme is “Sterling History” playing off the gifting of silver for a 25th anniversary and the long term value these conferences provide.
Participants choose breakout sessions they have interest in, from fertilizer advancements to politics to personal nutrition.
The WALC is made possible by Ag Country Farm Credit Services, Compeer Financial, CoBank, Farm Credit Leasing, MN Southern Agricultural Center of Excellence, MN Farmers Union, Farm Bureau, Soybean Research Promotion Council and many other partners.
Mold explains, the conference “...is bringing together some amazing speakers to really drive home...skills, talent, and resilience for the future. From ways to prevent burnout to expanding your reach... to building networks, we are helping attendees set themselves up for long term success,” Mold stressed.
After her dad passed in 1997 Doris says mom continued to run the farm until her death in 2004. Doris and her husband acquired the herd from her mother’s estate and moved them in 2004 to a farm on the other side of the St Croix.
Mold Family roots are still in Chisago County, though, and Doris has cousins who continue to farm here.
“My roots run very deep in Minnesota agriculture,” she explains. “...growing up on the farm with my parents’ influence and that of many outstanding mentors shaped who I am.” She added, her parents were very involved as community leaders and she is just carrying on the legacy embracing the importance of volunteering and giving back.