AAW President’s Message
Five weeks and 2 days ago, I was honored to be elected your AAW President at the Convention where our theme was Renewal and Rebirth. Attendees were able to join me in reminiscing of two family vacations across plains states and mountain states from our home in Illinois. These experiences taught us a lot about traveling together, the vastness of our country, the variety of issues and environmental circumstances, and a LOT about the Pioneer spirit. The pioneers were made of TOUGH stuff and had to trust their instincts and make decisions in the moment because each moment was a matter of life and death. It was probably a combination of their naturally brave and determined spirits and the challenges in their environment that led to decisive and Strong personalities.
Fortunately, today in the United States we do not face the moment-to-moment struggle to provide enough food and safety for our families. However, we are engaged in a battle to provide food, fiber and renewable fuel for our country and others throughout the world.
Our organization needs that strong spirit with persuasive personalities to win the battle. We in agriculture need to be flexible in our thinking, nimble in our action and resolved in our spirit. Let’s rise above the urge to make a snarky comment or to pursue our own personal agendas at all costs.
We need effective leaders to be persuasive in policy discussions, to be engaging with consumers of our products and to mentor future leaders who understand the economic foundation that ownership of property and community responsibility provide. We have a family name – American Agri-Women. It is not our blood that binds us. It is our belief in the need to be able to manage our lands and waters responsibly and to be self-sufficient to feed, clothe and fuel our families, our neighbors, our country. And our belief that women – with our LEAVEN qualities – have a vital role to play in our homes, communities and nation.
We as an organization are uniquely positioned to be the bridge between consumers and producers, between farmers/ranchers/loggers and agribusiness professionals who may have not have production experience. The world is concerned about our land and water, our food, our future. And we are in a position to help alleviate their concerns – to shine truth and remove shadows of fear that drive decision making.
It will take planning, time, talent and teamwork to get it done. But we have an excellent start out of the gate. In just five weeks, your officer team has:
– Developed a Plan of Action for 2022 around our core principles of Unite, Communicate and Promote;
– Held several syndicated radio, television and print interviews on the opportunities in AAW;
– Convened a “Lunch” Conversation via Zoom with Affiliate Presidents;
– Established and shared an online portal for Affiliates to update their Leadership Information;
– Welcomed more than 30 volunteer leaders to serve in vital roles such as Issue Leads, Member Concierge, Communications Team, Affiliate Development, Governing Documents, Education of AAW and Consumers, and Leadership Development team members;
– Taken care of numerous operations details ranging from insurance to mailing lists and financial reporting;
– Initiated planning our Ag-In-The-Classroom representation in 2022 and much more.
If you are interested in serving with us, please contact me at email@example.com, and let me know what issue area or type of role you are interested in so we can schedule a conversation.
2022 holds many opportunities for each of us. Please mark your calendars now:
March 24-26 = AAW Mid-Year in Salt Lake City, Utah
Registration details will be available by February 1st online and in “The Voice.”
June 5-8 = AAW Fly-In to Washington, D.C.
November 2-7 = AAW Convention in Bozeman, Montana
Another Opportunity for members with family or friends seeking college scholarships:
Bayer Growing Ag Leaders Scholarship
Bayer Fund is excited to once again partner with National FFA to offer ag students the opportunity to receive a $1,500 Grow Ag Leaders scholarship. High school seniors through college juniors pursuing any ag-related field study at a trade school, community college, or four-year college or university can apply now through January 11, 2022.
- Visit www.fund.bayer.us for more information and official rules
- Apply online at FFA.org/scholarships
- Applications accepted through January 11, 2022
- Receive endorsements from two farmers by January 18, 2022
- More than 350 scholarships awarded to students across the country
- Winners announced in May 2022
Encourage students to take advantage of this scholarship opportunity today! Students do not need to be FFA members to apply or receive this scholarship.
We have also been active in Policy, with more work underway. But here is a clip from a recent article related to the need for waterway infrastructure and port investments:
“Heather Hampton+Knodle, President of American Agri-Women stated, “We need reliable, dependable and sustainable access to global markets for our agricultural exports. Rural areas do have nationally significant ports that are an essential part of the global supply chain. The ports and terminals serving the Corn Belt and other major agriculture regions in the U.S. are expected to see continued growth as we strive to both increase production to meet global market needs, and improve resiliency in our national transportation infrastructure systems.”
Your officer team will resume its work at its regular monthly meeting on January 6th. Until then and on behalf of your officer team, we are all thinking of members who have suffered illness, heartache and loss in the last year. We pray for healing and we wish everyone a peaceful, healthy and prosperous new year!
Heather Hampton+Knodle, President
American Agri-Women Mid-Year Meeting!
American Agri-Women hosts an Annual Mid-Year Meeting for those interested in discussing current agricultural issues and policies and voting to create AAW’s Position Statements for the upcoming year, which is the basis for our AAW Legislative Fly-In in June of each year.
AAW’s Mid-Year Meeting will be held in Salt Lake City, Utah ~ March 24-26, 2022
Each year in November, American Agri-Women hosts a National Convention to bring members and affiliate members together for leadership and professional development sessions, speakers, and to host our annual business meeting.
Mark your calendar for the 48th Annual AAW Convention, Bozeman. Montana ~ November 2-7, 2022
AAW has partnered with Nepris
AAW has partnered with Nepris, to connect industry professionals with K-16 classrooms, so that students see the relevance of what they are learning in school. Nepris connects educators with a vast network of industry professionals to engage students in their learning, expose them to diverse career role models, and prepare them for their future.
Bridging the Gap
Getting on Board
Signing up for Nepris is easy:
1) Go to nepris.com/join/american-agri-women
2) Sign up for a free account
3) Browse the platform and set up an industry chat