American Agri-Women presents the LEAVEN Award to those people who, to an outstanding degree, have acted as “leaven,” a truly feminine concept since “lady” means giver of bread. “Leaven” (yeast) is a small element that can interact and influence everything around it. It permeates and raises the elements it’s mixed with; it multiplies its effectiveness for good.
The first Awards Committee (1977) came up with the word “Leaven” as a means of evaluating the candidates:
(L) Loyalty to the mission of AAW
(A) Anticipatory (thinks and plans ahead; does not react to crises only)
(V) Valiant (has courage; overcomes any natural timidity)
(E) Effectiveness (exhibits ability to produce intended effects)
(N) Nurturing (encourages and helps develop talents and skills of others)
American Agri-Women LEAVEN Award Chair Kimberly Schmuhl says two winners were chosen for the award who stood out among the nominees:
Jean Goslin – Kansas Agri-Women
Jean was born and raised on a dairy and beef cattle farm. Growing up she was active in 4-H and also showed horses. Her family continues to raise beef cattle while also managing their hay operation on their ranch. She is a long-time member of her state affiliate, former VP of Education, and served on the Vital Issues committee for AAW. She is a constant contributor at every meeting, offering her ideas and sharing of her time and support of others. She believes in the importance of AAW and offers her talents whenever she can. Her reserved optimistic “let’s get to work” attitude makes her a great contributor and leader to any effort.
Pam Townsend – Maine Agri-Women
Pam is quiet and soft-spoken yet very passionate and dedicated to AAW. She is hard-working but prefers to be in the background or behind the scenes getting the job done. She serves on the AAW Foundation board and is a consistent attendee of fly-in, mid-year, and annual meetings. Since her first convention in Colorado in 2012, she hasn’t missed one since. She is in charge of event scholarships and single-handedly runs AAW’s Legacy Kids program. She is president of her state affiliate and under her leadership, their membership has blossomed. Her grandfather was a potato farmer and she picked potatoes and worked on the harvester during school breaks and she is still working in the potato industry today. She can be trusted to get the job done in a timely manner and she always gives it her best. She is caring, honest, supportive, and kind.
“As AAW recognizes these women, we hope they are individuals that our members will look up to as mentors and dedicated volunteers, ” American Agri-Women LEAVEN Award Chair Kimberly Schmuhl said.