It’s been a quick trip. November 5th will find me stepping out of the driver’s seat into the role of AAW Past President. Like any journey, the last two years has included amazing views, interesting people, the occasional need to refuel and maintain our vehicle. If we could pick a vanity license plate for this ride, it would probably be “LETS GO”, “WE CAN” or “SPKTRTH” (Speak Truth). When Karolyn Zurn metaphorically handed me the “keys” to help drive AAW in November 2021, we realized that your officer team had an opportunity to appreciate the past, maximize our present, and map out our future.
Several initiatives were launched to strengthen the organization and to add value to membership. We are finalizing a biennial report to share many of the details with all our members and supporters. But a few highlights along the way have included establishing a 50th Anniversary Committee, convening a Governing Documents committee to advise on the documents that guide us, offering webinars with world-class speakers on timely topics, booking speakers to provide skill and knowledge building opportunities for our members, holding multiple conversations with affiliate leaders and past presidents, continuing to host our Fly-In and Symposium in Washington, D.C., speaking out via interviews and podcasts as well as our own videos, and launching a high value personal and leadership development program - The AAW Road to Influence. Our journey has seen many milestones. But it is the relationships with individual members and the impact we have as ambassadors for agriculture that makes it memorable and worthwhile. Thank you for trusting me to take the wheel for this stretch of our AAW adventure.