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American Agri-Women

Membership: 3,500

Organization Supporting women in agriculture

Founded In: 1974

Program Focus: Influencing national policy for the benefit of women in agriculture

American Agri-Women has been helping the growing number of women in agriculture – more than 969,000 and 30 percent of all farmers according to the latest Ag Census – for the past 40 years. Today, AAW has 50 state and commodity affiliate organizations as well as individual members throughout the country, representing tens of thousands of women working in agriculture, including women of all ages, operating farms and ranches large and small located throughout the country.

One of the organization’s keystone programs is the annual Washington Fly-In, when members are invited to join a conference in the nation’s capital, listen to inspiring speakers, enjoy communications and leadership development training, and then visit their Congressional representatives and senators to share the organization’s positions and views on policies that impact women in agriculture. Farm Credit funding, through its National Contributions Program, has become key to this program.

"Farm Credit has continued to support our Fly-In for many years," says Karen Yost, American Agri-Women Past-President. "Their funding helps us arrange the event and prepare our members for successful Hill visits to communicate our position on important policy initiatives."

Farm Credit also helps fund the mid-year meeting, when policy positions are identified and agreed upon. Yet Farm Credit’s involvement with American Agri-Women goes far beyond the financial. Many of the women who work for Farm Credit’s 80 organizations, which include regional wholesale banks and local lending associations across the country, are members of the organization.

American Agri-Women puts together one of the best Washington Conference and Fly-Ins I’ve attended
American Agri-Women

“In addition to providing a good perspective of current issues from thought leaders across the industry, American Agri-Women puts together one of the best Washington Conference and Fly-Ins I’ve attended,” says Jeana Hultquist, ‎a long-time member of American Agri-Women and current Vice President of Legislative Affairs with American AgCredit, a Farm Credit organization.

Just as Farm Credit’s ties to American Agri-Women go beyond funding, American Agri-Women’s programs span more than just the annual Fly-In. Meetings throughout the year bring together members to share ideas and network, and members learn that informed opinions and sounding boards are only a phone call away.

“In my opinion, the greatest benefit is the network of women who are life-long learners, and passionate about their industry,” says Janet Barrows, Director, Industry and Legislative Engagement with Frontier Farm Credit, another Farm Credit organization. “They seek to understand and engage in meaningful work to support consumer understanding and develop sound public policy positions.”

Janet has been a member of American Agri-Women for more than 20 years, helping found a collegiate chapter and then serving as the first Chapter president of the organization at Kansas State University. Her involvement builds on her family’s long history with the organization: her grandmother was among the first members of Kansas Agri-Women, then known as “United Farm Wives.” Her cousin is currently the President of Kansas Agri-Women, and one of her aunts was very involved through the years, becoming known in the 1980s as the “tax evangelist” in the Kansas statehouse, where she worked tirelessly to influence policies governing taxation on ag machinery and equipment.

“Agri-Women brings women together from different parts of the nation, with different crop or livestock interests, and different natural resource management issues,” Janet adds. “Those differences create a rich platform for dialogue and solution-building. When thoughtful, bright women come together to find solutions, we all win.”