The American Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership (AFBWL) program provides women with the training and education they need to become powerful advocates for today’s agriculture. The program provides women with leadership training, communication skills, and networking to strengthen their ability to encourage positive change in their communities and in the agricultural industry. Two examples of key programs spearheaded by the program include the annual Women’s Communication Boot Camp and the year-round Our Food Link program.
Our Food Link is a year-round program that county and state Farm Bureaus can use to effectively reach consumers of all ages and backgrounds with information about today’s agriculture. This outreach is more important than ever because the average American is now at least three generations removed from the farm. In fact, farm and ranch families make up less than 2 percent of the U.S. population.
Throughout the year, Farm Bureau members help people connect with sources of clothing, food, shelter and energy in their communities. Activities range from outreach at supermarkets or farmers’ markets to hosting interactive booths at community events, speaking with lawmakers and neighbors about food or visiting a classroom to help students understand agricultural topics.
Our Food Link activities may also include the collection of food and monetary donations for Ronald McDonald House Charities or other charities.
As a grassroots organization committed to enhancing and strengthening the lives of rural Americans, supporting RMHC is a good fit because the charity helps families maintain the strength needed to care for seriously ill or injured children undergoing medical treatment, by providing them with a “home away from home.” And with specialized medical care not often available in rural areas, Farm Bureau members have often found Ronald McDonald Houses to be an invaluable resource.
Building a connection based on shared values is important to Farm Bureau families which is why the AFB Women’s Leadership Committee invites all members to consider participating in Our Food Link activities this year. A planning toolkit is available to help you get started thinking about projects that would help you engage with people in your community.
Ag in the Classroom Grant Gets Students to the White House
Students from the Sarah Moore Green Magnet Technology Academy in Knoxville, Tennessee, were invited to the White House to plant the 5th Annual Kitchen Garden, all thanks to an Agriculture in the Classroom grant from the Tennessee Farm Bureau.
Women across the country can connect with other women leaders in agriculture by joining the USDA’s ag mentoring network by emailing AgWomenLead@usda.gov
They can also learn more about strong women telling agriculture’s story checking out the social media hashtag #womeninag.