Ceres was the Roman goddess of agriculture and grain. The word cereal is derived from her name. She was beloved for her service to mankind in giving the gift of the harvest, the reward for cultivation of the soil. Also known as the Greek goddess Demeter, Ceres was credited with teaching humans how to grow, preserve, and prepare grain and corn. Ceres is often referred to in modern agriculture, and her statue sits atop the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) in downtown Chicago, as well as on top of the Missouri and Vermont state capitol buildings.
We chose the name of our book, Ceres Rising, as a metaphor for what is happening with women in agriculture today. More women are coming back to agriculture, to their roots, to raising our food and running ag businesses. This creates a need to allow more women at the meeting table. There’s momentum – but that doesn’t mean there can’t be more.
Our sincere hope is that this book will deepen your understanding of women leaders in agriculture (we call them WLAs) and that it will serve as a guide for young and more experienced women alike. Women’s advancement as leaders in the ag world requires us to continue to be strong, focused, and effective managers with a relentless passion for learning and development.
As a certified human performance technologist, Michelle is founder of the Painchaud Performance Group, an international consulting firm. Michelle devotes her energies to helping agriculture businesses grow through helping them leverage the human side of their business—their people. She is a seasoned executive coach, known to “push the envelope” challenging her clients, particularly women leaders, to excel. She is an internationally acclaimed speaker delivering lively, engaging, and sometimes provocative presentations to educate and inspire audiences on the subjects of employee engagement, human performance, organizational culture, and leadership. Michelle lives in Winnipeg, Canada.