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Honouring women in agriculture

September 21, 2021  By Brett Ruffell, editor of Canadian Poultry

Influential Women in Canadian Agriculture (IWCA) is a recognition program designed to honour, highlight and celebrate the work women are doing across Canada’s agriculture industry.

Following a successful launch in 2020, readers once again nominated Canadian women working in all aspects of agriculture.

The seven women chosen as our 2021 honourees include: Andrea McKenna, a farmer and manager with the East Prince Agri-Environment Association in P.E.I.; Leona Staples, president of The Jungle Farm Ltd. in Alberta; Tina Widowski, a University of Guelph professor and the Egg Farmers of Canada Research Chair from Ontario; Noura Ziadi, a research scientist with the AAFC-Quebec Research and Development Centre in Quebec; Crystal Mackay, the founder and CEO of Loft32 and Utensil from Ontario; Simone Demers Collins, a professional home economist with SDC Consulting in Alberta; and Ellen Sparry, general manager of C&M Seeds in Ontario.


These leaders have already shared their stories, wisdom and insights in the IWCA podcast series on AgAnnex Talks, a podcast channel presented by Top Crop Manager, Potatoes in Canada, Canadian Poultry, Fruit & Vegetable, Drainage Contractor and Manure Manager magazines. Now, we’ve included highlights from those inspiring conversations in this digital publication.

What’s more, this year’s IWCA program will once again culminate with a virtual event in the fall that brings together women from across agriculture to share in their experiences, offer guidance and advice in an interactive setting. The second annual IWCA Summit will take place on Oct. 19. Register today for this virtual mentorship event with some of the most influential leaders in Canadian agriculture at

The team behind IWCA wishes to extend a sincere thank you to our audiences for participating in the program and to our sponsors for their support. Enjoy these leaders’ inspiring stories in the pages ahead!

Please note that Ziadi’s interview wasn’t conducted in time for this publication but will be available soon on


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