Top Producer Summit

Susan Weaver Ford Wins Top Producer’s Executive Women in Agriculture Trailblazer Award

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Lenexa, Kan. (March 1, 2022) — Susan Weaver Ford of Kenly, North Carolina, was recognized as the 2022 Executive Women in Agriculture Trailblazer Award winner at Farm Journal’s Top Producer Summit in Nashville.

Sponsored by Pioneer, the Executive Women in Agriculture Trailblazer Award honors female producers who are a shining example for their peers. The winner is an advocate for agriculture and represents an innovative farming operation. Entrants were judged on agricultural advocacy, farm business innovation and industry or community leadership. Applications are received from producers across the country and judged by a panel of industry experts.

Ford and her father, Ray Weaver, grow tobacco, corn, soybeans, wheat, oats and cotton across 2,000 acres, 420 of which are family owned. Their team includes three full-time and 11 part-time employees. Every decision Ford makes for her farm is focused on family. She is the sixth generation to hold the reins of her North Carolina farm, and the first female. Her goal is to create an environment and business that attracts and excites the next generation. Under Ford’s leadership, the farm has added oats, peas, butter beans and pumpkins. These specialty crops are marketed locally, providing Ford the opportunity to connect with consumers and teach them a few things about modern farming. 

“While you often see Susan out in the field running equipment or leading her team, her big impact on the farm has been focusing on the financial side,” said Sara Schafer, editor of Top Producer magazine. “She is fine-tuning budgets, marketing grain, negotiating contracts and doing high-level risk management.” 

Beyond inspiring those around her, Ford has received international recognition. Last year she was selected as one of 10 Americans to be a Nuffield International Farming Scholar. This year she will travel the world to explore how females around the world can succeed and support each other. 

As part of the award and for demonstrating excellence in farming, Ford receives leadership, business or succession planning consulting sessions with Rena Striegel of Transition Point Business Advisors and a DJI Phantom 4 Drone from Pioneer.

Top Producer Summit was Feb. 14-16 in Nashville, Tennessee. In conjunction, Trust In Food, a Farm Journal initiative, hosted its annual Trust In Food Symposium. In both formats, the event provided nearly 1,000 attendees from the United States and Canada with more than 40 educational sessions to boost their money, marketing and management skills.

Presenting sponsors of Top Producer Summit included BASF, Beck’s Hybrids, Case IH, Pioneer and Rabo AgriFinance. Supporting sponsors included Belchim, Channel, CLA, Corteva, EnviroKure, IOM Grain, LLC, Kcoe Isom, Lincoln Financial Network, National Corn Growers Association, New Holland and Pivot Bio. Learn more about Top Producer Summit at TPSummit.com.

Susan Weaver Ford, Kenly, N.C., (left) won the 2022 Executive Women in Agriculture Trailblazer Award at the 2022 Top Producer Summit in Nashville. Sara Schafer, editor of Top Producer, presented the award.

About Farm Journal

Farm Journal is the nation’s leading business information and media company serving the agricultural market. Started 145 years ago with the preeminent Farm Journal magazine, the company serves the row crop, livestock, produce and retail sectors through branded websites, eNewsletters and phone apps; business magazines; live events including conferences, seminars and tradeshows; nationally broadcasted television and radio programs; a robust mobile-text-marketing business; and an array of data-driven paid information products. Farm Journal also is the majority shareholder of the online equipment marketplace, Machinery Pete LLC. In 2010, the company established the non-profit, public charity, Farm Journal Foundation, dedicated to sustaining agriculture’s ability to meet the vital needs of a growing population through education and empowerment.

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