AUBURN UNIVERSITY, Ala. – In honor of International Women’s Week beginning March 8, the Alabama Extension animal science and forages team is empowering women in agriculture. Through videos and a roundtable panel, this team is highlighting women in the beef and forage industry. A passion of these panelists is empowering women in agriculture. Two panelists, Jacee May and Donna Jo Curtis, share more about their industry background and the event.
Jacee MayA fourth generation seedstock cattle producer and graduate of Oklahoma State University with a degree in agricultural communications, May works for Corteva Agriscience. Working for this company for six years has expanded her knowledge of the agricultural industry, as she previously worked on their crop protection portfolio in northeast Arkansas.
May’s current job allows her to serve as pasture territory manager covering Alabama, Mississippi and the panhandle of Florida.
“In this role I am able to partner with ranchers to help them get the most out of their land and forage systems,” May said.
Prior to graduating from Oklahoma State, May exhibited her bred and owned cattle herd at local, state and national levels. Upon receiving a livestock judging scholarship out of high school, she was a member of national champion judging teams at Black Hawk College in Galva, Illinois.
While in college, May was not only a tour guide for Oklahoma State University but also an ambassador for their college of agriculture and participated in multiple internships within the agricultural industry.
“You could say the beef and agricultural industry as a whole is in my blood and has raised me, so I am naturally passionate about it and the people that make it whole,” May said. “It is not just an industry for me; it is a way of life.”
Donna Jo CurtisFormer Alabama Cattlemen’s Association president, Curtis has been on a farm for her entire life. She grew up helping her father on a grade B dairy operation that later switched to beef cattle. She also grew up assisting with their family row crop operation.
Curtis graduated from Middle Tennessee State University with a degree in animal science. Upon graduation, she worked in a fertilizer plant before feeling the pull to home.
“My husband John and I bought some cows and started Curtis Farms,” Curtis said. “We have expanded through the years to a 150-head commercial cow-calf program.”
At Curtis Farms, truck load lots of cattle are sold through video sales. Curtis Farms also sells replacement heifers.
Curtis is proud of her three children who all have degrees in agriculture as well.
Women in Ag“The Women in Ag virtual program is a place where women in the industry can come together, learn and be inspired by one another,” May said.
Curtis emphasized that the can program teach new information or be a refresher course for those already familiar with it. Through the videos and culminating roundtable, these women in agriculture will discuss their challenges and experiences in the industry.
“I am honored to be one of the women to present a message of empowering women in agriculture,” Curtis said.