The American Farm Bureau Federation recognized 15 farm and ranch women leaders as graduates of the organization’s Women’s Communications Boot Camp summer session. The intensive four-day course completed by the agricultural leaders comprised hands-on sessions related to public speaking, working with the media and messaging.
“Women’s Communications Boot Camp is the experience of a lifetime,” said Isabella Chism, an Indiana row crop farmer and vice chair of the AFB Women’s Leadership Committee. “It’s gratifying to see the increased confidence of these women leaders, all of whom are passionate advocates for agriculture. Graduates of this program are effective in connecting with influencers at the local, state and national levels.”
Special guest speaker Anne Hazlett, senior adviser for rural affairs at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, shared highlights of her journey to leadership with Boot Camp attendees. Hazlett’s insights included thoughts on the courage it takes to know when to say “no” to ensure that you remain focused on reaching your goals, and to not be afraid of new opportunities and taking risks. She also emphasized the importance of building a strong and honest support system when pursuing leadership roles.
Boot Camp graduates are: Ashley Jeffers-Sample, Arizona; Adrienne DeSutter, Illinois; Ann Margaret Hughes, Kentucky; Rachel Lee, Louisiana; Danielle Bauer, Maryland; Chris Catterton, Maryland; Heidi Cooper, Massachusetts; Makenzi Blakeney, Mississippi; Shannon Higginbotham, New Jersey; Jane Gardner, North Carolina; Ashton Walls, Ohio; Mignon Bolay, Oklahoma; Kristie Glaser, Oregon; Terra Davis, Tennessee; and Stacey Righter, Washington.
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 13th year of the program, which has 195 graduates and is open to all women involved in Farm Bureau. An application process is used to select the participants. A fall session of Boot Camp will be conducted Oct. 22-25 (applications open July 1).