Arizona Farm Bureau member Nicole Richardson Clements, along with 14 other farm and ranch women leaders from across the country graduated from the fall session of Women’s Communications Boot Camp hosted by the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF). The AFBF Women’s Leadership Committee (WLC) spearheads the Boot Camp event twice a year. 

“The WLC Agriculture Communications Bootcamp was an opportunity unlike any other,” said Nicole Richardson Clements, promotions and agriculture affairs manager for Arizona Milk Producers. “The workshops were led by some of the best minds in agriculture relations and the wealth of knowledge I walked away with is immeasurable. The community of bringing these successful and passionate women of agriculture together provides an opportunity for fellowship to continue fostering those skills and relationships in the future. I am very thankful for the opportunity given to me by Farm Bureau and this experience, I am a better person and agriculture advocate because of it.”

The agricultural leaders completed an intensive four-day course that featured hands-on sessions focused on public speaking, working with the media, and messaging. Program graduates will use their training to strategically support the Farm Bureau’s priority issues. This includes participating in local media opportunities, sharing information with elected officials, and joining social media campaigns that spotlight modern agriculture.

“Agriculture needs strong advocates who are willing to step up and share their stories on the local, state, and national level,” said Isabella Chism, an Indiana row crop farmer and chair of the AFBF Women’s Leadership Committee. “The Farm Bureau women leaders who have completed this training are poised to creatively use their skills in a broad range of settings.”

The Graduates

Boot Camp graduates are Nicole Richardson Clements, Arizona; Rachel Bearden, Arkansas; Nanette Auhll, Colorado; Julie Hardy, Georgia; Janis Highley, Indiana; Jennifer Newby, Kentucky; Courtney Gerace, Louisiana; Danielle Yerby, Louisiana; Meghan Gennings, Massachusetts; Carlina Harris, New Mexico; Julia Hardy, North Carolina; Margaret Harrison, South Carolina; Emilee Haubner, Texas; Megan Webb, West Virginia; and Diane Garcia, Utah.

“Engaging with elected officials and consumers is an important element of agriculture advocacy work,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall. “AFBF is proud to continue offering this training to women farmers and ranchers twice each year. I applaud our graduates and congratulate them for taking this next step in their leadership journey.”

This is the 19th Boot Camp. The program has 284 graduates and is open to all women involved in the Farm Bureau.

The American Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee, in partnership with AFBF staff, hosts and provides training for the Women’s Communications Boot Camp biannually. Applications open in December for the next spring session of Boot Camp, slated for April 1-4, 2024.