CALGARY – With the Advancing Women in Agriculture Conference (AWC) celebrating its 5th anniversary in Calgary this month, the invitation list has added two important guests.

AWC has announced that Lawrence MacAulay, federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, has confirmed he will be attending the AWC Calgary event with his wife, Frances MacAulay. This farm couple has run a family farm in Prince Edward Island since the 1970s, along with their three daughters. They will share their experiences with delegates during the AWC evening banquet.

“With three daughters of our own, Frances and I appreciate the valuable work the AWC does to help empower, encourage, and remove barriers for women in agriculture. The Government is proud to support women in agriculture because gender equality is not only the right thing to do for Canadians, it is also the smart thing to do to strengthen the sector and our economy,” says Minister MacAulay.

The AWC program features many inspiring speakers talking about career development, leadership skills, financial strategies, agricultural advocacy, communications, mental health, life balance and nutrition.

The majority of AWC speakers are women working in agriculture who will share their personal stories and answer questions from the delegates. These include Cherie Andrews, Co-Owner of Chinook Honey Company; Josie Van Lent, Dean of Agricultural Sciences at Lakeland College; Cami Ryan, Social Sciences Lead at Monsanto Company; Melodie Chan, Senior Manager Veterinary Services with Zoetis; and more.

According to AWC founder and host Iris Meck, the MacAulays’ attendance speaks volumes about federal government support for the goal of improving the representation and career development of women in agriculture and related industries.

“The women attending this conference come from many different sectors within agriculture,” says Meck. “We welcome women from across Canada who are primary producers, ranchers, industry association representatives, agri-food company employees, those working in businesses supporting agri-business, and students attending agriculture colleges and universities in Canada. The federal government is a key player in the Canadian agriculture industry, so we are delighted that the MacAulays will be joining us.”

Since 2014, Meck has hosted seven conferences with more than 3,500 women in agriculture attending the events. To date, more than 350 women have registered for the Calgary event on March 26 & 27, 2018, and Meck expects close to 500 or 600 when the doors open. She notes that registrations are still available through the Advancing Women in Agriculture website.

For complete bios for the MacAulays and other speakers, plus an agenda for the upcoming Advancing Women Conference in Calgary, visit the website at or call 403-686-8407.