HERSHEY – Pennsylvania Farm Bureau’s (PFB) Women’s Leadership Committee has selected Bonnie LaTourette as the recipient of the 2023 Outstanding Woman in Agriculture Award during Farm Bureau’s 73rd Annual Meeting in Hershey.
The Outstanding Woman in Agriculture Award recognizes a woman who, through her leadership, is contributing to the larger agricultural community.
LaTourette was born and raised on a family dairy farm. In May of 1983, she married her husband, Mark. They purchased a small dairy herd and combined that herd with the registered animals that Bonnie owned. The milk was carried to the bulk tank in buckets, then a dumping station was purchased so a pipeline station was installed in 1989. They grew corn which was stored in a silo and made their own hay to feed their herd.
In 2012, they participated in a Barnyard Conservation District project which added a well that enabled them to provide water to all their existing pasture for the herd. In 2004, the LaTourettes became a foster family, and welcomed 63 children to their family farm over the course of 15 years.
In 2016, the LaTourettes transitioned from dairy farming to raising dairy heifers and selling square bales. Since 2021, their herd has consisted of primarily beef cattle. They have 30 head of cow/calf pairs and five steers on hand for freezer beef.
Bonnie LaTourette has been a Farm Bureau member for 43 years. In October of 2015, LaTourette was elected as the Second Vice President of her County Board. She works membership, organizes the Spring and Fall Meetings, as well as the lunch for the Legislative Farm Tours.
Bonnie has also served as the co-chair of her county’s Women’s Leadership Committee. Since joining Farm Bureau, she has participated in Farmers Care, which is a PFB program that collects food and monetary donations for the local Ronald McDonald House.
LaTourette goes to schools each year to read for Ag Literacy Week and organizes Rural Road Safety Week displays in her local bank and library. She also served on the State Women’s Leadership Committee for a decade and during her tenure helped implement the inaugural Outstanding Woman in Ag Award.
“Bonnie is a great example of a farmer who really goes the extra mile for her community and for her local Farm Bureau,” PFB President Chris Hoffman said. “Her continued involvement over the years has made a huge impact in our mission advocating for agriculture to members of the public.”
Hundreds of farmers from across the state attended Pennsylvania Farm Bureau’s 73rd Annual Meeting at the Hershey Lodge from Nov. 12-15, to set policy for the statewide organization on issues affecting farm and rural families.