Morgan Community College (MCC) is thrilled to announce the success of its 3rd Annual GrowHer event, which took place on October 12, 2023 at the Fort Morgan campus. The GrowHer event was designed to broaden young women’s understanding of career and leadership opportunities available within the agricultural industry.
Forty high school students from Brush, Fort Morgan, Prairie, Wiggins, Woodlin, and Weldon Valley high schools had the unique opportunity to attend this event, thanks to the collaboration between MCC’s Student Services and Agriculture Programs. Through hands-on workshops and information sessions, the students gained valuable insights into the diverse aspects of agriculture and its role in shaping the world around them.
Students had the pleasure of hearing from women leaders in the local ag industry. Rachel Gabel, Assistant Editor of the Fence Post magazine, opened the day speaking about her career experiences. She encouraged the young women, telling them that they possess the capability to create their own narratives within the agricultural sector and its related professions. Rachel was honored by the GrowHer Committee as “Outstanding in Her Field” for her leadership and contributions to agriculture.
Emma Mortensen, former Colorado Future Farmers of America (FFA) State President, was the keynote speaker. Emma holds a master’s degree in Meat Science and is also a Registered Dietitian. Mortensen has carved a niche for herself using her education and experiences of growing up on a farm and raising livestock in Brush, CO. She currently works as an independent consultant in beef nutrition research for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. Emma offered guidance to the girls, assuring them that it is perfectly acceptable to not have a career path in mind. She emphasized that the right individuals would enter their lives to provide support and guidance, leading them to the place they are meant to be. During her talk, she touched on the themes of resilience, leadership, and embracing life’s journey. Her key message resonated with the audience: “Be open minded and willing to work for a path that is uniquely yours!”
Workshops covered a range of topics, including Floriculture, presented by Amy Scott; Veterinary Medicine by Dr. Karen Chandler, DVM; Soil Science by the Colorado State University Extension; Precision Agriculture with contributions from CHS, Wickham Tractor, and 21st Century Equipment; and Sugar Beet Processing, featuring Terri Way of Western Sugar.
MCC extends its appreciation to the generous sponsors who made this event possible: Keith Bath Farms, Bank of Colorado of Brush, Bank of Colorado of Fort Morgan, Premier Farm Credit, Leprino, Hillrose Dairy, Morton Buildings, and Scott Scholes. Their support played an essential role in making this event an inspiring experience for the students.
“The date for next year’s GrowHer event has been set,” stated Leah Thomas, MCC Business Faculty and GrowHer Committee Chair. “We look forward to welcoming even more young women on October 10, 2024, for another day of empowerment and education in the world of agriculture.”
MCC extends a special thank you to the dedicated staff members whose hard work and passion made this event a reality: Leah Thomas, Maria Cardenas, Janell Sutter, Janeth Arrendondo Perez, Debbie Wacker, Bill Miller, and Cara Draegert.
For more information about the 2024 GrowHer event or to inquire about sponsorship opportunities, please contact Leah.Thomas@MorganCC.edu or (970) 542-3260.