Leadership

Thank you for taking the time to get to know AAW leadership.  The officers are elected to two year terms at our annual Convention in the fall.

Heather Hampton-Knodle, President

Illinois Agri-Women
aawpresident@americanagriwomen.org

As a farmer, past communications consultant and association manager, Heather Hampton-Knodle is dedicated to developing rural economies through incentivizing investments in telecommunications, innovative workforce development and enabling entrepreneurship. Heather was the founding chairman of the Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation, the Central Illinois Economic Development Authority and the Montgomery CEO (Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities) program. She currently serves as the appointed Vice Chairman of the Accelerating Broadband Deployment Working Group of the Federal Communications Commission Precision Agriculture Task Force and as a Citizen Member appointee to Illinois Governor’s Rural Affairs Council. Heather farms with her husband Brian where they and their four children, ages 12-18, grow corn, soybeans, and wheat and manage a small herd of black Angus cattle. Since Heather joined Illinois Agri-Women and attended her first AAW Convention in 1995, she has served as Illinois affiliate Secretary and President, chaired the program and planning for two national conventions, served as AAW Secretary, First Vice President, Governmental Issues Chairman, Farm Bill Task Force Chairman, Water Resources and Rural Development Chairman. Heather is a 2008 recipient of the AAW LEAVEN Award.

 


 First Vice President of Vital Issues and Resolutions

California Women for Agriculture
Rose.Tryon@americanagriwomen.org

Rose Tryon is a 5th generation farmer who grew up on a beef, dairy, and potato ranch in Northern California. Rose and her husband, Michael VanCott, are actively involved in the operation of her family farm in Del Norte County, California. Rose is a retired District Attorney investigator who specialized in child abuse, sexual assault, and domestic violence investigations. She is also a full-charge bookkeeper specializing in agricultural accounting. Her career has spanned over twenty years. As a result, she has a unique background and has work experience in various facets of farming and law enforcement. On November 8th of 2018, Rose and her husband, Michael, lost their home in the devastating forest fire that destroyed the town of Paradise, California. Together, they are rebuilding their home in Paradise. In November of 2020, Rose was elected to office and is currently serving as a member of the Paradise Town Council. As a member of California Women for Agriculture, Rose has served in multiple capacities on both the state and local levels of the affiliate. In January 2020, she was installed as the 25th State President of California Women for Agriculture; her term will end in January 2022. Rose has been active in American Agri-Women since 2011.  For the past several years, she has served as the AAW Natural Resources Co-Director as well as, for six years on the AAW foundation board of directors.

 


VP CommunicationsVice President of Communications

Texas
communications@americanagriwomen.org

Laura lives on Hart farms with her husband, Vic, where they raise corn, cotton, wheat and sorghum. Hart and her husband farm the same land that Vic’s great-grandfather T.W. Hart farmed in the south eastern part of Castro County in the Texas Panhandle/South Plains. Their place, Pioneer Farms, was recognized by the Texas Department of Agriculture Family Land Heritage program that honors families who have owned and operated a continuous agricultural operation for 100 years or more in 2011. She is a founding member of the Texas Agri-Women South Plains Chapter and past president. Laura has been a vocal advocate of agriculture for many years. She has been honored at both 4-H and FFA banquets for her parent leadership. Laura has served as President of the Hart Buyers Club, Hart Athletic Booster Club, and as a member of the Hart Independent School District School Board. Laura and Vic raised two sons and a daughter and have three grandsons and five granddaughters. All three children hold degrees in agriculture and are involved in the agriculture industry.

 


JacquieJacquie Compston, Vice President of Education

Nevada
jacquie.compston@americanagriwomen.org

Jacqueline Rose Compston “Jacquie” is a lifetime member of American Agri-Women, and President of the newly formed Nevada Agri-Women Organization. She became an active member in 1986 as the representative for the American Hereford Auxiliary.

She received a Bachelors of Science Degree in Education from the University of Nevada, Reno and taught at Smith Valley Schools and Western Nevada College. Jacquie is a fifth generation native Nevadan whose roots run deep in the history of ranching in central Nevada. They owned and operated sheep and cattle operations and were active in local and State politics.

She has held various positions in AAW that include, Natural Resources, Animal Welfare, Beef Cattle, Public Lands, Global Issues, Water Resources, and Climate Change. Jacquie has received a Leaven Award and two Presidents Awards.

Jacquie and her husband Mike raised two daughter’s and have five grandchildren. They owned and operated a large family ranching and farming operation in Western Nevada that included, registered and commercial cowherds, commercial feedlot, seed garlic, small grains, and alfalfa. She traveled and attended meetings with her husband during his terms as Executive Director of the State of Nevada Dairy Commission, and during his presidency of the International Association of Milk Control Agencies.


KimKim Bremmer, Secretary

Wisconsin
kim.bremmer@americanagriwomen.org

Kim Bremmer is a mother of two, graduate of UW-Madison, and was a dairy nutrition consultant for almost 15 years. She has been advocating for farmers as a professional speaker since 2015, traveling across the country, as well as internationally. Kim is a registered lobbyist in the state of Wisconsin and is passionate about protecting the use of science, technology and innovation in how we grow and raise food. She is the President of Wisconsin Women for Agriculture, a regular contributor on Rural Route Radio and serves on the Executive Advisory Council for the American Dairy Coalition. Kim is on the board of directors for her county Farm Bureau and loves being a quiz bowl coach for her Clark County Junior Holstein Association. She is a vocal champion of agriculture everywhere she goes…from the grocery store to the airport.


Treasurer

Minnesota Agri-Women
treasurer@americanagriwomen.org

Kathy Goodyke began her AAW adventure by attending the 1994 AAW Convention at Tigard, Oregon. The friendships developed over those several days are still close to her. Since that initial convention, she has attended many others along with AAW Mid-Year meetings. She serves as the lead on Taxes in the Committee of Governmental Issues, and prepared a White Paper for the 2021 Fly In. Kathy is the Minnesota Agri-Women Treasurer and past secretary. Receiving an associate degree in accounting began her career with AgCountry, preparing farmers’ bookkeeping and financial reports for the loan officer and tax preparer. With a love for education, Kathy went on to receive a BS in Nursing. She worked in community, public, and hospital nursing until 2007. When her husband needed help on the farm, she was introduced to life on a tractor. From then on, being able to work in the field and see what she was able to do, put her careers on permanent hold. She worked the ground, ran the grain cart and did a lot of her own equipment maintenance. It was full-time enjoyment. Since retiring from the farm in 2016, Kathy has become active in the area seniors center as the secretary, grant writer and financial chairperson. She enjoys quilting and being a member of the church quilt group, for which she is the treasurer. Kathy and her husband remain busy with maintaining the farm site and with their daughters and families and will always be keeping an eye on the fields.

 


Karolyn

 Karolyn Zurn, Past President

Minnesota Agri-Women
karolyn.zurn@americanagriwomen.org

During her recent 2 year term as President of American Agri-Women, Karolyn led the organization through the coronavirus world pandemic, representing AAW on the White House Coronavirus Critical Infrastructure Partnership and insuring that agriculture, as an essential service, had a voice in addressing pandemic related agricultural supply chain issues. She kept AAW moving forward via Zoom and conference call meetings while meeting all associated commitments.

Zurn farms with her husband, Bill, and two sons in Northwestern Minnesota where they raise corn, soybeans, sugar beets and wheat. As a Past President of Minnesota Agri-Women, she additionally served four years as AAW Chair of Government Issues. She has served on many agriculture boards including Minnesota Ag in the Classroom, Northern Crops Institute Council, and Minnesota Soybean Growers. On the Becker County Corn & Soybean Growers, she served as treasurer and government affairs representative. She coordinated the North Dakota Common ground program for four years and most recently she was appointed to Minnesota State Farm Service Agency Board. Karolyn is a recipient of the 2018 AAW Leaven Award.

 


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