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Women in Ag Network's April Feature

By Megan Roberts and Sarah Schieck, Extension Educators
Liz Stahl

Our April Women in Ag is Liz Stahl, an Extension Educator in Crops from southern Minnesota. In this Q&A, Liz shares about her passion for assisting Minnesotan crop farmers.

WAGN: Tell us about your career as a Crops Extension Educator?
Liz: I work as an Extension Educator in Crops out of the Worthington Regional Extension office.  I focus on corn and soybean management issues including pesticide safety education, weed management, and the agronomic side of soil health including cover crops.  I started with Extension in 2004 after working 10 years as a research agronomist for a seed company, a crop production specialist/agronomist for a farmer’s cooperative, and with a non-profit focused on alternative crops.   
WAGN: What challenges are your audiences facing today? Why is Extension relevant to these challenges?
Liz: Economics are very tight right now in agriculture.  Along with this, farmers are facing increasing issues with resistance to pesticides.  Extension provides research-based information to help address these issues and more, ultimately helping farmers make the best decisions possible on their farms.  Solutions must not only make economic sense but also be environmentally sound to help ensure the long-term sustainability of agriculture.

WAGN: What have you learned from other women in agriculture?
Liz: I have worked in agriculture all my life, after growing up on a farm and being involved in FFA back in high school.  There were not too many women in production agriculture when I started out, and it was not unusual to be the only woman in a room full of 100 plus people at agronomy meetings and workshops.  One thing I have learned over the years is how helpful it is to be supportive of each other.  It can be so helpful to learn you are not alone in facing various challenges. I think it is important to give support and encouragement back to others as they work their way through the field as well.

WAGN: You will be speaking at the April 11, 2019 Women in Ag Network workshop in St. Cloud. Can you give a short summary of what you will be speaking about?
Liz: I will be talking about a project I worked on with several Extension Educators in the North Central region, focused on “Understanding Ag Research.”  There are many sources of information available these day, but information is not all created equal!  In Extension we often talk about research results and if treatments are “significantly different.” I will give an overview and refresher of what that really means, present some real-life results that demonstrate how treatments can be “not significantly different” even though the results may look otherwise, go over tips to help people in critically evaluating research, and discuss key concepts to follow if you want to conduct research on your own farm.  This talk will ultimately help attendees in identifying quality information to make the best decisions possible.  

Thank you Liz for sharing with the Women in Ag Network as April's featured Woman in Ag.

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