Women in Agribusiness, which each year recognizes women’s exemplary achievements in ag with the Demeter Award of Excellence, is proud to announce this years’ recipients: Sandra D. Hulm of Conagra Brands Corporation, Linda Tank of CHS and Susanne Wasson of Corteva Agriscience. Each will be recognized and receive her award at the 8th annual Women in Agribusiness Summit, which will take place here at the Hyatt Regency Minneapolis, September 25-27, 2019.
The Women in Agribusiness Demeter Award of Excellence, so named for Demeter, the Greek goddess of agriculture, showcases women who have achieved excellence in their field and/or who have exhibited an outstanding contribution to the agribusiness industry, along with demonstrating a positive impact on her clients, her company, her colleagues or the agribusiness sector as a whole. See complete criteria here.
Sandra D. Hulm
Sandra Hulm, of Omaha, Neb., is vice president of procurement for Conagra Brands, one of North America’s leading branded food companies. She has a long and storied career in the food industry, which first saw her rise through the ranks at Archer Daniels Midland (ADM). “Sandra Hulm is a driven leader who is passionate about excellence, people and results,” said Michelle Vandevoorde, Hulm’s mentor, former manager and customer, in her nomination letter.
At Conagra, Hulm has led mission-critical projects, including managing more than $800 million of annual commodity spend and acting as the project lead for Conagra’s Integrated Margin Management program. In her current role, she and her team manage $1 billion in annual material spend, along with Conagra’s Risk Management and Materials Operations teams. Throughout her career, Hulm has been recognized for developing and inspiring the people around her. “Sandra is always focused on making people better and building trust,” said Alex Fox, a colleague at Conagra. “Her leadership changed the way I think about building a team.” Hulm also is a board member with Ardent Mills, NIOP, Mountain Plains Minority Supplier Development Council, and Women in Agribusiness.
Linda Tank, CHS
Linda Tank, senior vice president, marketing, communications and building services with CHS Inc., in Inver Grove Heights, Minn., has been an advocate for women in agriculture for more than 30 years, and is well versed at putting their stories into writing – whether it be in the company’s magazine, read by 235,000 growers, or establishing university endowments to transform ag education, or creating nationally-recognized brand advertising campaigns to leverage the cooperative’s farmer-owners' investments.
She is a partner in a fourth-generation family farm and champions youth leadership through organizations such as FFA and 4-H, and has held leadership positions with the Agriculture Council of America and Minnesota State Fair Foundation. “She sees herself as a ‘connector’ and supports her (heavily female) team visibly and behind the scenes, serving as a positive role model for women and girls working to gain respect and trust for their leadership capabilities across the entire ag supply chain,” said Annette Degnan, a colleague and long-time direct report staffer who wrote her nomination. Her background lets her “bridge the gap between farm and consumer, representing all that is good about American agriculture,” continued Degnan.
Susanne Wasson, Corteva Agriscience
Susanne Wasson is president of the Crop Protection Business Platform for Corteva Agriscience. Through her decades in the sector, she has become “one of the most accomplished, celebrated and admired women in agribusiness,” said Rajan Gajaria, her supervisor and nominator, who also noted that her leadership, agricultural business savvy, experience and keen vision were instrumental in helping to successfully launch Corteva at a most critical time. Her current role places her as the top woman in a business platform role within the new 21,000-employee company.
“Of the many things that Susanne does best is her ability to listen, learn and relate… It gives her a unique perspective and that speaks well of her unique leadership skill set,” said Trent Inman, national strategic account manager at Corteva Agriscience. “She has walked in all our shoes, so now as president of the Crop Protection Platform, she understands firsthand the challenges and frustrations of selling. She cares deeply, too, not just for our needs, but for the needs of our customers.”
Learn more about the Demeter Award and the Women in Agribusiness Summit – which brings together women in the agribusiness and agricultural fields and promotes female advancement in those industries by providing high-quality events that offer unique opportunities to network with colleagues, vendors, and potential clients and customers – at womeninag.com.
About Women in Agribusiness
Women in Agribusiness is a business unit of HighQuest Group, a global agribusiness consulting, events and media firm. The Women in Agribusiness initiative took root in 2012, with the first conference held in Minneapolis. WIA initiatives have grown to include the WIA Membership, WIA Demeter Award of Excellence, Student Scholarships, and the WIA Quarterly Journal. Learn more at womeninag.com.