The inaugural Women in Agribusiness Summit is set for Sept. 16-17, at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans.

The summit is designed to bring together a cross-section of women from the agribusiness and food production sectors. The attendees will gain valuable industry knowledge from highly successful stakeholders and share in many professional and career-path development opportunities.

Keynote speaker Michele Payn-Knoper will inspire the audience to build connected communities in the industry and help attendees understand the path from farm gate to the consumer plate.

“We are excited to host this first-ever Women in Agribusiness Summit and look forward to Michele helping us celebrate these innovative, talented women,” says co-chairwoman and event director Frances Pratt, with HighQuest Partners. “Through the thoughtful sharing of best practices and industry insights at this event, we hope to encourage the next generation of women in agribusiness.”

Payn-Knoper will address this extraordinary group on how to lead through the significant changes facing agriculture in the 21st century by relaying her experience helping farmers in over 25 countries build connections that impact agriculture’s future.

In addition, a high-energy team of women in ag, including Rhonda Cole, director of grains and oils at SunOpta; Mary Ellen Hennessey-Jones, president of Solera Capital LLC; and Susan Grelling, vice president of commodity risk management at Land O’Lakes, will bring the key messages to the center stage.

The event, which begins with an evening reception on Sept. 16, is the prelude to the Soy & Grain Trade Summit for domestic and international soybean, oilseed and grain commodity buyers and their suppliers, which runs through Sept. 19 at the same venue.

Registration fee is $1,295 per person if registered before Sept. 7. A small-farmer/producer rate of $795 is also available. For more information and to register, go to