Faculty, students, alumni celebrate women in agriculture

Kara Pontones
Staff Writer

Susan Buckham speaks to women about “defying the status quo”

On Thursday, October 25, Wilmington College held their Women in Ag luncheon. This year’s event was titled, “Defying the Status Quo,” as guest speaker and WC alumnus, Susan Buckham, discussed the changing roles of women in the industry.

Susan Buckham graduated from Wilmington College in 1985 with a degree in Animal Nutrition and Chemistry. While at Wilmington, Buckham was a founding member of the sorority Delta Theta Sigma Little Sis, and she was also a member of the first ever Soil Judging team.
 Susan spoke to women in the agricultural field about how they can be successful in whatever they do; many factors help contribute to this, but Buckham focused on the defining factors that were specific to agricultural women.
“Growing up on the farm gives you that get-it-done attitude,” stated Buckham of the background that enhances work ethic. To further explain this concept, Buckham gave examples of her experiences from growing up on a dairy farm.
“You knew that you had to get the chores done first,” she explained. “You didn’t get to go to the dance or the football game until the milking and the feeding were finished. And sometimes, you never made it because if something broke, you had to stay there and get it done.”
The one-hour discussion was full of tips for women to follow in their careers. Buckham spoke about adversity and how the strength to overcome obstacles will make you more successful.
“Adversity makes us who we are,” Buckham stated. She also touched on the strength of women and how their ability to multitask and juggle multiple duties sets them apart from the rest.
Susan also talked about the effectiveness of an agricultural degree.
“An ag-degree is multi-useful,” she said. To explain this she used her own degree; while she majored in animal nutrition, she has used her knowledge from that degree to expand her career into human health. She now works as the Director of Battle Creek Operations for Covance Labs in Nutritional Chemistry and Food Safety in Michigan.
“Take charge of your career,” she advised, “and remember that the only person who makes a bad decision is the person who is afraid to make a decision.”
All attendees were invited to stay after the luncheon to speak with Susan and ask any questions.

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