Ruth Jensen, of Santa Maria, CA, is the recipient of the American-Agri Women Leaven Award. She received the award at the AAW national convention in Denver, CO recently.
Jensen, formerly an active member of the Northwoods Chapter Wisconsin Women for Agriculture, was nominated by Wisconsin Women for Agriculture for this prestigious award.
Jensen currently serves as the AAW Start Chair for Food Safety and is on the Media and Public Relations Committee for American Agri-Women.
Jensen is the business and political affairs specialist for United Agribusiness League, representing the agriculture industry and members throughout the Central Coast of California in Washington, DC.
She is currently in her 2nd term as a member of the Santa Barbara County Human Services Commission as well as her first term on the Santa Barbara County Agricultural Advisory Commission.
In her position as Legislative Assistant to the Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee in Colorado, Jensen was motivated to complete her education and begin a policy consulting career on behalf of farmers and farm organizations.
She has worked with a variety of groups, including World Bank, United Nations, and the U.S. State Department. She has been involved in work on water resources, water quality and environmental issues on behalf of farmers and ranchers.
Jensen embraces the mission of American Agri-Women through mentoring a new generation of AAW members.
She also communicates with news media on current topics pertaining to the agriculture industry, and shares AAW's viewpoint and message to partner organizations, all the while strengthening the foothold of American Agriculture by helping to form new affiliates across the country.
Jensen says, "We, as women's agricultural organizations and individuals, unite to communicate with one another and with other consumers to promote agriculture for the benefit of the American people and the world."
The Leaven award is the highest honor bestowed on a member of American Agri-Women. Nominated by her peers, these women exemplify the meaning of the words that make up 'LEAVEN': Loyalty, Enthusiastic, Anticipatory, Valiant, Effectiveness and Nurturing.
The first Awards Committee (1977) came up with the word "Leaven" as a means of evaluating the candidates.
"Leaven" (yeast) is a small element that can interact and influence everything around it. It permeates and raises the elements it's mixed with. Leaven multiplies its effectiveness for good.
AAW presents the Leaven Award to those persons who, to an outstanding degree, have acted as "leaven", a truly feminine concept since "lady" means giver of bread.
Since 1974, AAW members have worked together to educate consumers, advocate for agriculture, and provide networking and professional development opportunities.