South Dakota Women in Agriculture

PO Box 44 | Sturgis, SD | 57785

Our mission is to educate women who are making a difference in rural America. To accomplish this, we started an annual conference more than 15 years ago to help bring women together in an inviting, educational setting. We focus not only on agricultural topics, but also on providing networking opportunities and personal development. Women from South Dakota and surrounding states are invited to attend the conference.

resource committee

We are fortunate to have a group of talented women who make up our resource committee. They tackle a variety of tasks including researching speakers and topics, designing promotional materials, and providing guidance for all aspects of the annual conference. 

Liz

Grubl
 

Liz Grubl was raised on a cattle and wheat ranch east of Sturgis, SD. Growing up, she was very active in 4-H and Jr. Leaders as well as the Immaculate Conception Catholic church in Bear Butte valley. 
 

Liz graduated from South Dakota State University with a major in Fashion Merchandising and a minor in economics and accepted a management position in retail in Denver, CO. A refocus in her career path led Liz to earn master's degree in business administration, with a marketing emphasis. 
 

Liz’s true passion is her family ranch where she helps with calving, branding and haying. She enjoys taking care of her own cattle, working on the cattle records with her Dad, trying to keep up with her nephews and even cooking, occasionally!
 

After attending a few of the SDWIA conferences, Liz became active in the organization and joined the board of directors in 2006. About the conference, Liz says it’s about education and empowerment; “South Dakota Women in Ag celebrates the strengths of women, encourages the camaraderie that gets us through hard times and teaches us topical subjects both ag-related and outside our usual purview. Plus, it offers a great wrap-up to the busy summer/fall season. It gives us a chance to breathe, focus and look to the future.”

         Robin Salverson
 

Robin Salverson was raised on a cow/calf and grain operation in north central South Dakota. She earned a degree from South Dakota State University.

Robin’s career has been focused on adult education since 2001 when she joined South Dakota State University Extension as a livestock educator in Harding County.  Since then, she has transitioned to a cow calf field specialist at the SDSU Extension Regional Center in Lemmon, SD—where her focus is educating women who are involved in agriculture. 
 

Although Robin’s title is cow calf field specialist, she enjoys raising sheep too.   Robin admits that some days, she has a love/hate relationship with her flock, but she’s grown quite fond of them. She enjoys sharing her experiences with her twelve nieces and nephews who all help with feeding, docking, shearing and everything else related to sheep.
   

Joining the SDWIA board in 2001, Robin has seen the mission of SD Women in Ag evolve and transition into a program she’s proud to be part of. She says, “My involvement with South Dakota Women in Ag has given me the opportunity to develop lasting friendships with women across South Dakota and the professional satisfaction to see the women grow through education and networking.” 

Rebecca

Christman
 

Rebecca Christman is the outreach director for Ag United for South Dakota, where she connects those interested in learning more about their food to the farmers that grow it. She plans farms tours, writes blogs, and connects with consumers on social media.
 

Rebecca grew up on a family farm near Platte, SD where her parents still raise cattle today. Growing up, Rebecca was active in the 4-H and FFA organizations, where she grew to appreciate the many facets of agriculture.

In 2013, Rebecca graduated from South Dakota State University with a degree in agriculture education and began her caree with Ag United in 2014. She enjoys having the opportunity to speak with people about food and farming each day.
 

In her free time Rebecca enjoys reading, DIY projects, and any activity that will get her outside. Rebecca and her husband Shad, live in Sioux Falls.
 

Rebecca joined the SDWIA resource committee in 2016. She says, "My favorite part of the SDWIA conference is meeting women from all areas of the state that are also involved in agriculture."

 

              Melanie Smith

A new South Dakota resident, Melanie grew up on a small farm in Wisconsin and spent more than twenty years moving all over the United States and the world with the US Air Force.
 

She currently lives in Rapid City where she is the administrative coordinator for the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. She is also a member of the Federal Women’s Program committee in South Dakota - which led her to SDWIA.

When she's not at work, Melanie spends time rock hunting for agates, spinning fiber and junking. 

Melanie attended her first conference in 2015 and joined the resource committee, something she's excited about. "I enjoy working with these brilliant and talented women as they bring information and empowerment to rural women in South Dakota and surrounding areas.