New York Agri-Women Spotlight: Interview with Shiela Marshman

Rincker Law Ag-vocacy, Food & Ag Organizations, International Treaties and UN Organizations Leave a Comment

Had a great time last week at the New York Agri-Women reception and agriculture tours in New York City getting to know women involved in the New York agriculture industry.  I know that it is a long drive for most people in Upstate New York to make it down to NYC so I really appreciate the effort from all the ladies who attendend.  I had an opportunity to interview a few of the participants about the event, New York Agri-Women and their agriculture policy concerns.  Shiela Marshman from Oxford, New York had the following responses:

1.  What is your connection to New York agriculture?

[I am a] Professor of Agriculture Business and Chair of the Department of Dairy Management, Agriculture Science and Agriculture Business at Morrisonville State College; My husband and his family operate a 6th generation dairy farm

2.  What did you enjoy most about the New York Agri-Women reception and agriculture tour in the greater NYC area?

I enjoyed interacting with the other women.  I am amazed at the depth of women involved in agriculture.

3.  What would you like to see New York Agri-Women accomplish over the next few years?

We have much work to do with our food system.  Consumers are unaware of the risks of imported foods.  The food is not inspected or regulated for pesticides.  We produce the highest quality foods here in the U.S.–a secret we keep from the consumer.

4.  What are some of your biggest agriculture policy concerns at the federal, state, and/or local level?

Similar to question #3 – we need to do more to promote U.S. foods, food safety and nutrition.

As an aside, I had a nice conversation with Shiela about the New York L.E.A.D. (“Leadership, Education and Development”) program.  When I lived in Cheyenne, Wyoming, I was very interested in participating in Wyoming L.E.A.D. after the reccomendation from Kara Brighton, owner of Hageman & Brighton, P.C., a firm that deals extensively with Wyoming water rights issues.  The L.E.A.D. program is offered in several states and seems like an excellent way for folks involved in the agriculture industry to delve into state specific agriculture issues and hone their communication skills to become leaders in agriculture.  This year’s New York L.E.A.D. workshop schedule illustrates the diversity within the New York agriculture industry. 

I am particularly attracted to the fact that L.E.A.D. programs have an agriculture policy component with stops at the state capital and Washington D.C.  Additionally, at the end of the L.E.A.D. program there is an international trip in a foreign country.  Due to my legal consultancy experience with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and other international traveling experiences, I am especially passionate about international food and agriculture issues.  It is becoming increasingly clear how connected the world is and how every country needs to play its part in the food security solution.  I am glad to see that the L.E.A.D. program shines light on agriculture production issues in other countries.    

I encourage you to look into your state’s L.E.A.D. program if you have not done so already.  This years’s New York L.E.A.D. Class looks like a great crew.  If you are interested in New York L.E.A.D., applications for the 2011 Class will be available next January.

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