The American Farm Bureau Federation honored 16 farm and ranch leaders as graduates of the organization’s ninth annual Women’s Communications Boot Camp, including Wisconsin’s own Katie Reichling.
“The Women’s Communication Boot Camp reaffirmed my commitment for communicating agriculture’s importance,” Reichling said. “I am thankful to have participated in such a great experience that will make me a better advocate for an industry I believe in.”
Reichling works as a program technician in the farm loan program for the Farm Service Agency (USDA) in Lancaster. She also performs herdsman duties at Banner Ridge Dairy LLC in Platteville. Reichling grew up on her family’s dairy farm in Darlington. She graduated from UW-Platteville with a bachelor’s degree in animal science.
She serves as the secretary, treasurer and Young Farmer and Agriculturist (YFA) chair for Lafayette County Farm Bureau and previously represented southwest Wisconsin on the state YFA committee. She is a graduate of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau leadership Institute. Reichling is also a former state Discussion Meet and Excellence in Ag winner.
The group of agricultural leaders was recognized after completing an intensive three-day course featuring sessions on working with the media, public speaking, testifying and messaging.
“Boot Camp graduates are encouraged to go back to their own communities and share their messages about agriculture with the non-farming public,” said Sherry Saylor, an Arizona farmer and chair of the American Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee.
“Food is a hot topic in our country – in everyone’s lives,” Saylor said. “As farmers we need to be transparent about what we do to produce food on our farms and our ranches, and continue to work to build relationships with consumers.”
Katie’s fellow Boot Camp graduates are: Rhonda Boyd, Montana; Helen Dietrich, Michigan; Megan Dwyer, Illinois; Brenda Frederickson, Rhode Island; Debbie Freeland, Alabama; Carol Guthrie, Idaho; Tracey Harding, North Carolina; Sarah Harward, Utah; Heidi Humphries, New Mexico; Heather Keenen, Arkansas; Kacie Luckett, Louisiana; Rosella Mosby, Washington; Sheryl Seib, Indiana; Anna Trapani, New Jersey; and Lisa Wherry, Pennsylvania.
The AFBWLC sponsors the Women’s Communications Boot Camp. The program has more than 140 graduates and is open to all women involved in Farm Bureau; an application process is used to select the participants.
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