Roots in Boots: Inspiring Women Take a Seat at the Head of the Table

State CapitolLaura Cunningham was elected in July as the chair of the Iowa Farm Bureau Young Farmers Advisory Board.  As chair, she will participate in Iowa Farm Bureau Board meetings, lobby on behalf of young farmers and help shape agriculture-related policies.

“Growing up on the family farm, gender never mattered when it came to caring for animals and raising crops. There was a job to do and first idle hands were those for the job. The same holds true today on the farm my husband and I manage.” Laura grew up on a grain and livestock farm in North Central Iowa. She earned the American FFA degree with her beef Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) in 2008, and co-owns SkyView Farms with her husband, Aaron. They raise row crops and high-quality Angus beef, which they market locally.

19875368_1361714587197903_7013438740670539976_nEarlier this month Laura attended her first board meeting where she and the executive assistant were the only women at the table.

“I hope my role as Young Farmer Chair can inspire both women and young farmers to want to lead and make their voices heard and to embrace opportunities in agriculture regardless of who typically fills that role,” adds Laura.

Embracing the opportunity is how Laura got to where she is today.

After joining the Floyd County Farm Bureau and participating in Ag Leaders’ Training she knew she wanted to be more involved.

“When I become involved in something I am determined to make an impact.”

She and Aaron became IFBF regional committee chairs, representing Iowa’s North Central district. Throughout the year, they plan events to educate young farmers in their area and to create comradery amongst their peers.

Laura AnnieLaura plays a large role in Skyview Farms managing finances and input supply purchasing. She provides primary care for the cows and calves in their beef herd and is responsible for marketing their locally-raised beef directly to consumers. Last weekend Skyview Farms was featured on the Floyd County Farm to Fork dinner menu, which served 80 people.

Laura serves as marketing manager for Latham Hi-Tech Seeds and recently celebrated her 10th work anniversary with the company.

Laura’s advice to women in agriculture is “Working in industry and attending leadership trainings I find sometimes women down-play their roles on the farm. Women play a crucial role on the farm! Know your worth, seize every opportunity to be involved and share your story as it’s only yours to tell.”

Without strong women to help shape and manage our company, Latham Hi-Tech Seeds would be a very different company than it is today. We understand the key roles women play in everything from purchasing seed to marketing grain, from public relations and event planning to sales and customer service. That’s why we’re celebrating women who are doing what they love. From now through November, we’re showcasing women in agriculture by telling their #RootsinBoots stories. Follow along and be inspired by Women in Ag across Latham Country!

We’re looking for women, ages 18 to 108, who have a passion for agriculture and are willing to share their farm stories. Simply post photos of yourself on Instagram or Facebook using the hashtags #RootsinBoots #LathamSeeds and #WomeninAg. Let your personality and work ethic show. We want to see what a “day in the life” of you is like!

Because each woman in agriculture is unique, everyone who submits a photo of herself either working in the field or working with livestock will be entered to win a $500 shopping spree at Western Edge LTD. There’s no limit to the number of entries, so increase your chances by posting across platforms via Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Go to or click here for more information.