Not too many people can say that the owner of their company made them a sandwich, but that’s exactly what happened to Marisol Moreno when she discovered her passion for agriculture. At the time, she was working for a table grapes company as a senior accountant and was told she’d need to cover for the owner’s secretary whenever she was out of the office.
“I didn’t realize in the moment how much I’d take away from this,” Marisol said. “I’m not a normal accountant where it’s always about numbers. I want to know specifics, like why are farmers adding certain chemicals to soils, what’s in their yield, and what makes their yield not come to fruition as they expected.”
As these questions burned in Marisol’s mind, she’d engage in conversation with the farm’s owner whenever she could. And before long, he was asking her to sit and have lunch with him in the kitchen. “He opened my mind to a lot of things about generational farming, and it was from that point on I knew I would always want to work for a family-owned farming company,” she said. “That’s where the passion lies.”
Today, Marisol works as the Controller for Allied Potato in Bakersfield, Calif., where she’s been working for the last three years. She’s the latest WG Women member to complete the course credits to receive her Certificate of Completion.
Marisol initially joined the WG Women program because in an industry that is heavily dominated by men, she felt it was important to connect with other strong women with whom she can learn from and receive support.
“I feel like this industry can be intimidating for some women, and sometimes even the greatest and strongest women need a little reassurance. Men and women learn things differently and engage a little differently on a social level, so it’s good to bond with women I can relate to for that extra ‘pick me up’ and receive that reassurance that we aren’t contributing less,” she said. “There’s nothing better than having someone—a friend, in the community of agriculture.”
Marisol’s favorite part of the program has been the DiSC training on Productive Conflict, which helps individuals determine a course of action when dealing with problems in the workplace and enables them to develop a proactive response plan. “I learned a lot about myself and at the same time, I was able to identify certain things about my employees and their preferred methods of engagement,” she said. “That resonated with me—just because I have my own way of approaching conflict resolution doesn’t mean it works for someone else.”
Marisol also enjoyed the Arbinger leadership training and uses what she learned for her annual assessments. In fact, she said the owner of the company now wants to start implementing the tool for himself. “In my career, it’s nice to know that I’m contributing to something that is actually being brought to the table,” she said.
When Marisol isn’t dedicating her time to agriculture, she enjoys fly fishing. She’s a member of the Southern Sierra Fly Fishers club headquartered in Kernville, Calif., where she is also a participant in the club’s annual women’s program.
Marisol encourages all women to get involved in the WG Women program to support their personal growth, no matter their roles or career goals. “You’re bound to find someone in the program you can relate to and use as a resource. I always believe in making yourself better, whether it’s improving the way you communicate, the way you deal with conflict and even your skillset. You’re never going to do yourself a disservice by improving on yourself.”
Visit https://www.wga.com/services/wg-women to find out more about the program.