Celebrating Women in Agriculture —and Beyond

Each year International Women’s Day provides an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women across all walks of life. This year we turn our focus to the incredible contributions of women in Iowa, both in the field of agriculture and in many other leadership positions.

From the very beginning, Iowa women have played a vital role in agriculture. The state’s rich agricultural heritage is deeply intertwined with the stories of countless women who have blazed new trails. Their hard work and dedication have helped shape the industry into what it is today.

We can find inspiration in the stories of Iowa women like Evelyn Latham, April Hemmes, Pam Bolin, Trish Cook, Patty Judge and Dr. Wendy Wintersteen. Each of these women have made significant contributions to agriculture — from leadership roles in agricultural organizations, to politics, to groundbreaking research and innovation.


Evelyn Latham

April Hemmes 2

April Hemmes


Dr. Wendy Wintersteen

But the impact of Iowa women extends far beyond these fields. The 19th Amendment, ratified in 1920, marked a pivotal moment in American history, paving the way for women to hold positions of leadership. Iowa has been at the forefront of this movement with women like Carrie Chapman Catt, a leader in the women’s suffrage movement, who have left their mark on the state’s history.

Today we see this legacy reflected in the leadership of women like Governor Kim Reynolds, the first female governor of Iowa, and Sen. Joni Ernst,, the first female U.S. senator from our state.

These women — including Dr. Wendy Wintersteen, the first female president of Iowa State University, and Speaker Linda Upmeyer, the first woman to serve as Speaker of the Iowa House of Representatives — serve as powerful examples for young girls across Iowa.

Their stories remind us that women can achieve anything they set their minds to, whether it’s leading a farm, governing a state or breaking barriers in any field.

As we celebrate International Women’s Day, let us honor the remarkable women of Iowa who continue to inspire and pave the way for a brighter future.

Enjoy a family favorite recipe from 1962 Master Homemaker and Matriarch of the Latham Family – Evelyn Latham.

Cocoa Krispies

Recipe by Evelyn Latham


  • 1/3 cup Karo syrup (light or dark)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3 cups Rice Krispies cereal


  • Combine syrup and sugar in saucepan.
  • Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until mixture bubbles. (Do not over cook).
  • Remove from heat; stir in peanut butter until completely iced.
  • Then add krispies and mix well.
  • Pour into buttered 9x13.  Make chocolate icing to cover.


Double the recipe to make a 9x13 pan or drop by the teaspoonful onto parchment paper.