Women of Amalgamated Sugar: Agriculture

There have been a lot of changes to Amalgamated Sugar’s Agriculture Department over the last five years. One of those changes has been a shift in Crop Consultant staffing and adding female agronomists to the team.


  

Ali Pocock

 

Ali Pocock, Amalgamated Sugar’s first female Crop Consultant, decided to pursue a career in agriculture because she loves farming and ranching. “I grew up on a ranch riding horses and moving cows and had the opportunity to drive potato truck in harvest for my uncles.” Said Pocock. “I felt like a career in ag was a good fit for me because I enjoy interacting with farmers and not being stuck in an office all day.”

 

Pocock grew up in Aberdeen, ID, on a family farm and ranch. After graduating high school, she attended Utah State University, receiving her BA in Agribusiness. Before graduating, Pocock interned for Amalgamated Sugar, and after graduating in May of 2018, she was offered a Crop Consultant position in the Company’s Twin Falls district.

 

“Advice I would give to future female agronomists/crop consultants would be not to be intimidated by a career that is male-dominated and be confident in yourself and your abilities,” said Pocock. “You can do anything even if you’re the only female in the room.”


 

Courtney Ashcraft

 

Courtney Ashcraft came to Amalgamated Sugar as an intern in the Engineering Department while getting her Agribusiness degree from the College of Western Idaho. She then moved to the Agriculture Department as an intern, and when a Crop Consultant position became available, she applied and was offered the job. “My favorite part of my job is that it’s always changing,” said Ashcraft. “As you go through the different parts of the growing season, there is always something new to do and learn.”

 

“After joining FFA in high school, I started to understand the importance of the agriculture industry and knew I wanted to pursue a career in agriculture,” said Ashcraft. “If you are willing to work hard and have a good attitude, you can have a great career in Agriculture – no matter if you are a female or male.”


 

Brooke Hilliard

 

Brooke Hilliard grew up in Homedale, ID. She was introduced to agriculture through 4-H and FFA. At 16, she started working for Blue Barn Produce. After two years, she started working for Hungate Custom Hay, where she operated farm equipment such as swathers, rakes, balers, and stackers.

 

Hilliard attended the University of Idaho and graduated in December 2020 with a BS in Crop Management. She had worked at the University of Idaho Dairy as the student manager while in college, and after graduating, she continued working there full time. She moved back to the Treasure Valley in 2021 and accepted a Crop Consultant position in the Nampa District. “I was hired by Amalgamated Sugar in June 2021 and have loved every bit of it – mostly the diversity between each day,” said Hilliard. “Every day brings a new challenge, and I am continually learning new processes to improve crops, working collaboratively with the growers for successful outcomes at harvest.”

 

“My advice for future female agronomists/Crop Consultants would be to show commitment and be driven. There will be a few people that try to drag you down along the way, but there are a lot more that want to help and see you succeed,” said Hilliard. “Don’t back down; learn as much as you can, and prove them wrong.”

 

 

From Left to Right: Ali Pocock, Courtney Ashcraft, and Brooke Hilliard

 

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