Reitzenstein uses her farming experience and financial background to help women succeed in agricultural careers

Reitzenstein

Kaye Reitzenstein of Kersey, Colorado knows that agriculture is at the mercy of many factors that growers cannot control. As Vice President of Finance for Nutrien Ag Solutions, the world’s largest agricultural input company, she has her hands on operations in the United States, Canada, South America and Australia.

Reitzenstein started in finance at Nutrien 14 years ago and accepted his current role four years ago.

She said diversity is the norm in agricultural finance, with successful people coming from different backgrounds now working for producers around the world. To help women succeed in agricultural businesses, she was instrumental in developing Aspire to Grow, a leadership development event. In partnership with Colorado State University, the event is for female agriculture students at CSU, as well as those related to the Colorado FFA.



Reitzenstein said speakers for the event were selected to give attendees an overview of the many careers available in the industry as well as networking opportunities with women who are already contributing to the success of the industry, whether whether in business, production or other facets. The program has proven so popular that a spin-off program was created in California last year in partnership with Cal Poly.

Held annually at the CSU Ag Education Co Bank Center, this year scheduled for November, the event hosts approximately 100 women from across the state.



“I have a passion for the agriculture industry,” she said. “I grew up in the farming industry and have a background and degree in finance, so for me it’s a way to use my education and knowledge and combine it with farming.”

She said women are successful in agriculture and are in the majority in some college degree programs, which has many benefits, including the ability to communicate with female consumers.

During her years in farming, she said she has worked with a number of men who have daughters they hope will find a career in farming. Having other women to connect with in the industry, she said, opens doors for young women trying to find their place and their passion.

Even with a support system, she said, young producers all face difficulties obtaining the resources needed to enter production agriculture.

“Production agriculture is changing,” she said. “There’s more and more agriculture in urban areas and it’s becoming a different industry and we’ll start to see that change.”

Reitzenstein grew up on a farm and ranch near Fort Morgan, Colorado, and is married to Dr. Mark Reitzenstein, a top animal practitioner who specializes in beef cattle embryo transfer. The couple raised their children in agriculture, actively participating in 4-H and the FFA. She is a newly installed member of the Colorado FFA Foundation, a position she said she enjoys for the opportunity to mentor young people. His advice to young people entering the industry is to pursue their passion.

“I have a daughter in her mid-twenties and I hope my generation has made it easier for women to enter agriculture,” she said. ​❖

— Gabel is an associate editor and reporter for The Fence Post. She can be reached at [email protected] or (970) 392-4410.