‘Fancy Lady Cowgirl’ speaker promotes women in ag


MaKenna Brouwer, Reporter

The Agriculture Communicators of Tomorrow (ACT) are  hosting The National ACT Professional Development Conference Sept. 30. The conference will end with Courtenay DeHoff at 7 p.m., which is open to the public.

Courtenay DeHoff has built her career around empowering women in agriculutre.

She is an influencer and advocator for agriculture across the country, sharing her “Fancy Lady Cowgirl” story and slogan.

DeHoff created her slogan to help encourage women in agriculture. She wanted to create a slogan like “Fancy Lady Cowgirl” to put an end to the stereotype of how “country” girls should dress.

DeHoff grew up with an agricultural background and was born and raised on a cow-calf operation. She actively showed Angus and was part of  a rodeo team growing up.

She expressed that her love for agriculture came from her 84-year-old grandfather who owns a feedlot operation. His motivation to continue saddling his horse every morning to check his cows is what keeps her going.

“Everyone has a place to sit at the table and if you don’t fit into theirs, come sit at mine, there will always be a spot for you at my table,” DeHoff said. She often talks about how passionate she is about advocating for everyone to be their own person, while not worrying about what others say.

DeHoff chose to be a keynote speaker solely to focus on agriculture as well as promote positive energy for women in agriculture.

“I want to help those that want to learn and want to be involved in agriculture,” DeHoff said. 

One of her main goals is to get rid of the disconnect between rural and urban communities. 

“There is no right or wrong way to be a part of agriculture,” she said.

She finds it very important for people to be leaders not only in the agricultural community but in society as well. 

“A leader is someone who is not afraid to stand out from the herd,” DeHoff said.

ACT is a proficiency development club that focuses on professional and personal development.

“We are small but mighty,” ACT President Haylee Henry said.  She also said there are about 20 active members, with five officers on the team.

ACT went to measurable lengths to host the National ACT Professional Development Conference, as well as getting ahold of DeHoff to be their keynote speaker.

After a team effort to decide to book DeHoff, they needed to find the funds. They gathered sponsorships and donations from multiple donors for this event, and they are very thankful for everyone’s support in helping them make the event possible.

In addition, the officer team knew that picking DeHoff was a clear choice. 

“We wanted someone who was up and coming in the agriculture industry,” Henry said. “Someone who is going to leave an impact and have a meaningful message for the audience.”

The event is being held at the Oscar Larson Performing Arts Center and starts at 7 p.m.