The very first Women in Ag Awards International were presented earlier this month at EuroTier. The Awards are an initiative that aims to celebrate the outstanding women in our industry. The idea was born from the collaboration of Women in Ag Magazine and EuroTier organizer DLG.
No less than 60 nominations were entered after the first edition of the Women in Ag Awards International was announced last Summer. Most entries came from Europe, but there were also nominations from the United States, from South America and Africa. Not only female farmers were nominated but also researchers and agronomists. From a shortlist retaining 15 profiles, the jury, composed of women from Europe, the US and Zambia, selected three laureates over the Autumn. Criteria such as innovative work approaches, overall presentation of the work and the impact on the local and global agricultural community were kept in mind during the process. The jurymembers attributed points to the different profiles on the shortlist, and the combined points resulted in a winner, a first runner up and a second runner up.
During the awardceremony, presided by Women in Ag mag editor in chief Kim Schoukens, EuroTier Project Manager Ines Rathke, freshly elected CEO of the DLG Freya von Czettritz and Hella Otten from the German network for women in the industry Women in Agribusiness, handed over the awards to the three laureates.
Second runner up in these first Women in Ag Awards International was French organic egg farmer Lucie Mainard, who runs the egg farm “Les Jolies Rousses” in the Vendée region in France. Lucie impressed the jury with her implementation of sustainability on the farm as well as having addressed adversity with tremendous courage since she started her farm in 2019. She battled a pandemic, the bird flu in France and several severe heat waves last Summer and showed resilience, strength and positivity through it all. As Lucie was not able to make it to the ceremony, the award was presented to French agricultural journalist Mathilde Brion. You can read Lucie’s full story in the October edition of Women in Ag Magazine.
The first runner up was Friederike Schierholz from Schierholz in Landkreis Diepholz, Niedersachsen. She scored points with the regenerative approach used on her farm that is going for a no-till approach and works with hens in mobile stables for the regeneration of their soil. The overall presentation of her farm on social media and and the openness with which she shows her work were also part of what makes her a worthy first runner up. More information about Friederike’s farm can be found on her website.
The first ever winner of the Women in Ag Awards International was a clear one: the jury selected Ukrainian agronomist Diana Dykun, who runs Save UA, a charity that provides food and medicine to the Ukrainian people on the one hand and veterinary tools and support to farmers in the Ukraine, as the very first winner of the award. The points the jury members appointed her made her stand out very clearly. Words used in the jury comments were: “Humanity, consistency, tenacity and determination”. Her impact on the local farming community is enormous and the dire situation her region has been in makes this impact even more important. Due to circumstances in the field, Diana could not be present at the ceremony but Hanna Lavreniuk, who also works at the organization, was present to receive the award and call for donations and support for the Ukrainian farmers. More information about Diana’s charity Save UA can be found on the website.