Siemer Milling Company was recently visited by seven impressive women who have formed their own Ladies Agriculture Peer Group. The group's host member for this trip was Stephanie Holcomb (far R) – whose family supplies wheat to our Hopkinsville mill. Our SMC team was fascinated to learn how they formed their peer group organically, starting with a few of them connecting years ago at TEPAP.
TEPAP, The Executive Program for Agricultural Producers is a two-week intensive training that teaches advanced agribusiness skills such as international business development, niche market evaluation, analyzing and forecasting financial position, as well as personnel management and negotiation. The ladies called TEPAP “the Super Bowl of agriculture.”
Today, the peer group consists of eight women who are all involved in the operations of their family farms across this region (KY, OH, MO, AR, MS, IN). To stay connected, they attend monthly Zoom calls (yes, they used Zoom before it was cool) and go on two trips every year. Their group is very transparent; they cover topics across the board, including financials, farming practices, regulation and compliance, new technology, and even family issues. Another progressive method they practice is SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analyses on each of their operations, and share best practices for continuous improvement.
Mary Gleason, Hopkinsville Plant Manager shares; "It was so refreshing to see a group of brilliant women so passionate about agriculture – if this is any indication of the future of agriculture, then I am excited!