The Association of Women in Agriculture (AWA) recently recognized special award winners for their outstanding service and contribution to the organization.
Jenny Dierickx was the recipient of the 2012 Outstanding Alumni Award. Dierickx, is a 2005 graduate in agricultural journalism, and currently employed by Filament Marketing, Madison. She is a member of the Wisconsin Agricultural and Life Sciences Alumni Association (WALSAA) board where she serves on the Scholarship and Marketing Committees, and she serves as vice president of the National Agri-Marketing Association Badger Chapter. Her passion for agriculture shows through her Farm Bureau involvement, including: Dane County Farm Bureau Young Farmer and Agriculturist Chair and Wisconsin Farm Bureau Dist. 2 Women's Committee Representative.
Elizabeth Henry was the recipient of the 2012 Outstanding Woman in Agriculture Award. Henry is a 1983 graduate in meat, animal and dairy science, and currently is employed with Renk Agribusiness Institute where she is the associate director. Most important to the College of Agriculture & Life Sciences (CALS) she served on the Board of Visitors and the Wisconsin Ag and Life Sciences Alumni Association (WALSAA) board for many years. She was WALSAA president and guided the organization to the part-time staff it now has to carry out its work. She worked many hours to personally make sure WALSAA scholarships were awarded, senior breakfasts held, the Fire-Up was kept going, faculty awards presented, and WALSAA members recruited. She has worked tirelessly to keep WALSAA moving forward to serve the college.
Chelsea Brander, Spring Green, was named the Outstanding Senior. Brander, a senior majoring in dairy science and life sciences communication, serves as the vice president of the organization. She has participated on numerous committees throughout her college career, as well as served as the fundraiser coordinator and membership coordinator. Brander is actively involved on campus including Badger Dairy Club where she served as secretary and show chair for World Dairy Expo. Brander was also very competitive on the UW-Madison dairy judging team. She received a lifetime membership for her significant role in AWA.
Jill Armbruster was named the 2012 Honored Guest for her generous support of AWA. A 1985 graduate with a degree in agricultural economics, Armbruster currently works for Badgerland Financial. While an active student member, she was one of the first women to live in the white house. She served as AWA Corporation Board treasurer from the years 1991-1997. She was instrumental in making sure AWA continues to be financially responsible by auditing the AWA accounts. She helped design the budgets that were necessary to build and fund the house that we have now. Armbruster is to thank for AWA's strong position today and excels in being an AWA alumni by mentoring student members.
Ted Halbach received the 2012 Friend of AWA Award. The Friend of the AWA is awarded to a person who has contributed significant time and resources to the AWA active chapter during the past year. Halbach is currently serving as the Farm and Industry Short Course director, where he is solely responsible for the mission and strategic plan for the program. While recruiting students to UW-Madison's dairy science program, Halbach also spoke highly of AWA and helped to set up tours of the AWA house to potential members. Additionally, he is willing to help out in any way possible.
The Association of Women in Agriculture, headquartered on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus, is a professional, service and social organization that promotes agriculture and the development of women who serve the agricultural industry.
To learn more about AWA, visit www.uwmadisonawa.org/.