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American Agri-Women: We need to be advocating every day

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When American Agri-Women were on their Drive Across America in 2015, they found many consumers weren’t really understanding as much about agriculture as they had hoped. A driving force behind National Ag Day for quite some time, the organization realized ag day should really be every day.

“We wanted to see more consumer-driven information getting out there every single day of the year, rather than just focusing on a day because we think we really need to be out there advocating and talking to consumers every single day,” said Doris Mold, President of American Agri-Women.

American Agri-Women is the nation’s largest coalition of farm, ranch, and agribusiness women with more than 50 state, commodity, and agribusiness affiliate organizations, united to communicate with one another and with other consumers to promote agriculture. Their membership stretches from middle school age all the way to women in their mid-90s.

Advocating for agriculture since 1974, Mold says the group tries to be a force for truth.

“We try to be a reasonable non-partisan voice for the agriculture community to the public and that kind of serves as a cornerstone for what we have done and what we do,” Mold said.

One of the longest thriving ag organizations in the country, American Agri-Women has a wide range of members and interests.

For example, the group recently hosted a webinar series with the Farmer Veteran Coalition, educating women veterans who want to get involved in agriculture and learn more about farm and agribusiness management.

Members also routinely fly in to Washington, D.C. to talk to policy makers about ag policy.

From public policy and consumer advocacy to leadership development and networking, American Agri-Women tries to offer their members a well-rounded program.

“We have a place for everybody. We have a place for those people that are newer to the ag scene by virtue of age or by virtue just by experience,” Mold said. “We have women of all types and I just think that it is fascinating to see that interaction and to see women in the organization embracing the new ones coming in.”

Now American AgriWomen is hoping all women in agriculture will join them in consumer advocacy, making sure Ag Day is Every Day.

“We have done something every single day to advocate across agriculture, for agriculture. We have used primarily social media as a way to do this and we have been wrapping it up with events,” Mold said. “Affiliates across the country have been planning their own activities, using the tag line AgDay 365: Ag Day is Every Day.”

Kicking off AgDay 365 at National Ag Day, the American Agri-Women hosted a new event for young advocates. This year the group sponsored a luncheon and social media activities for the National Ag Council’s 100 students that attend from across the country. The students actively campaigned while in D.C. and are now continuing that passion during AgDay365.

During a recent Dallas farmers’ market, America Agri-Women were out talking to consumers, handing out recyclable shopping bags for produce and AgDay 365 information.

At a recent Women’s Ag Leadership Conference, members were asked to help spread the message further through social media, starting their own campaigns for their own farms, organizations they represent, or ag businesses where they are employed.

This summer members will be attending events such as the National Baking Festival and the Minnesota State Fair to continue the campaign.

Mold said the organization is seeing their efforts duplicate as affiliate members have already planned several events for the summer during fairs and festivals, and into the fall with harvest meals.

“American agriculture is among the best in the world – why not celebrate this fact every day? We want to raise up and connect the voices of those in agriculture with consumers,” Mold said.

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