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16 women graduate from 2022 ag communications ‘boot camp’

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Sixteen farm and ranch women leaders graduated from the 2022 spring session of Women’s Communications Boot Camp hosted by the American Farm Bureau Federation.

The intensive four-day course completed by the agricultural leaders featured hands-on sessions related to public speaking, working with the media and messaging. Graduates will use their training in a variety of ways such as participating in local media opportunities to strategically support Farm Bureau’s policy work, sharing information with elected officials and joining social media campaigns that spotlight today’s agriculture.

“Through this training, we’re equipping women leaders with tools and skills they can use to effectively communicate about agriculture in their communities and for Farm Bureau on local, state and national levels,” said Isabella Chism, an Indiana row crop farmer and chair of the AFB Women’s Leadership Committee.

Boot Camp graduates are Sharla Mortimer, Arizona; Shawn Wood, Arizona; Jana Carroll, Arkansas; Roxi McCormick, Colorado; Jennifer Duvall, Georgia; Theresa Gottbrath, Indiana; Melissa Huggett, Kentucky; Kayla Griffith, Maryland; Barbara Rogers-Scharneck, Massachusetts; Stacey Lauwers, Michigan; Emma Alexander, Missouri; Allison Cooper, North Carolina; Carie Moore, North Dakota; Melanie Fink, Pennsylvania; Megan Jernigan, Tennessee; and Sarah Scyphers, Virginia.

“AFBF is proud to continue offering this training, which provides a framework for participants to increase their engagement with consumers and elected officials while exploring new leadership roles,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall.

This the 16th year of the program, which has 239 graduates and is open to all women involved in Farm Bureau.

“It was such a privilege to attend Women’s Communication Boot Camp to learn about communicating about agricultural issues,” said Barbara Rogers-Scharneck. “I am excited to use my skills to help consumers as well as elected officials better understand the importance of agriculture.” Rogers-Scharneck owns a farm and garden center in Massachusetts and is a member of AFBF’s Promotion & Education Committee.

The American Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee, in partnership with AFBF staff, hosts and provides training for Women’s Communications Boot Camp. A fall session of Boot Camp will be held Oct. 31 to Nov. 3, with applications opening in June.

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