Women in Agriculture luncheon to feature distinguished alumna Abra Lee

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The 2023 Women in Agriculture Luncheon, hosted by the College of Agriculture at Auburn University, will feature distinguished alumna, writer and horticulturalist Abra Lee.

The luncheon will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 28, at the Auburn Hotel and Conference Center Grand Ballroom. Lee’s remarks are titled “The Invincible Garden Ladies: How Black Southern women have made significant contributions to horticulture.”

Lee graduated from Auburn with a degree in ornamental horticulture. She has worked in several horticultural roles, including with the University of Georgia as a county extension agent for Fulton County; as landscape manager for Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport; as a horticulturalist at George Bush Intercontinental Airport; and as a municipal arborist at City of Atlanta Department of Parks.

Today, she is a freelance horticultural writer and lecturer for institutions such as the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Centre, Temple University and Smithsonian Gardens. She seeks to break down the barriers that prevent Black people participating in horticulture through research that highlights the lives of Black women in horticulture, from early American history to the present day.

She is founder of the social media platform Conquer the Soil, which raises horticultural awareness through Black garden history and current events. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, Fine Gardening, Veranda Magazine and NPR.

“We are thrilled to have Abra return to campus and share her wisdom at this year’s Women in Agriculture Luncheon,” said Amy Wright, associate dean of instruction for the College of Agriculture. “Abra brings a unique and important perspective and understanding of the history of Black women in agriculture, and I cannot wait to listen and learn from her.”

Auburn University is a nationally ranked land grant institution recognized for its commitment to world-class scholarship, interdisciplinary research with an elite, top-tier Carnegie R1 classification, life-changing outreach with Carnegie’s Community Engagement designation and an undergraduate education experience second to none. Auburn is home to more than 30,000 students, and its faculty and research partners collaborate to develop and deliver meaningful scholarship, science and technology-based advancements that meet pressing regional, national and global needs. Auburn’s commitment to active student engagement, professional success and public/private partnership drives a growing reputation for outreach and extension that delivers broad economic, health and societal impact.