Thirteen farm and ranch women leaders, including one from Pennsylvania, recently graduated from the fall session of Women’s Communications Boot Camp hosted by the American Farm Bureau Federation.
The intensive four-day course completed by the agricultural leaders featured hands-on sessions related to public speaking, working with the media and messaging. Graduates will use their training in a variety of ways including participating in local media opportunities to support Farm Bureau’s policy work, sharing information with elected officials and joining social media campaigns to share positive messages about agriculture.
“With less than 2% of the population engaged in farming or ranching, it’s essential to equip women leaders in outreach skills they can use to connect with members of the non-farming public at the local, state and national levels,” said Isabella Chism, an Indiana row crop farmer and chair of the AFB Women’s Leadership Committee.
Andrea Brown, a Pennsylvania farmer, is among the Boot Camp graduates. The others are: Lydia Haynes, Alabama; Monica Thornburg, Alaska; Hayley Andrus, Arizona; Vickie Bryant, Kentucky; Roslyn Simon, Louisiana; Karin Bump, New York; Stephanie Frisbee, North Carolina; Cindy Cassell, Ohio; Adele Flynn, Ohio; Katie Martin, Tennessee; Livvy Preisser, Virginia; and Christa Douglass, Washington.
“More than one-third of farmers and ranchers are women,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall. “They are some of the most passionate advocates for agriculture on social media and in our communities. I’m proud AFBF offers training and support each year to encourage women to increase engagement and step into leadership roles.”
The American Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee, in partnership with AFBF staff, hosts and provides training for the Women’s Communications Boot Camp. This the 15th year of the program, which has 223 graduates and is open to all women involved in Farm Bureau. An application process is used to select the participants. A spring session of Boot Camp will be conducted March 22-25, with applications opening at the end of November.