The LEAVEN award is the highest honor bestowed on a member of American Agri-Women. The 2012 recipient is Ruth Jensen, of Santa Maria, Calif.was nominated by Wisconsin Women for Agriculture. Ruth currently serves as the AAW StART Chair for Food Safety and is on the Media and Public Relations Committee for American Agri-Women.
Winners are nominated by their peers and 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.
Ruth 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, D.C. Ruth 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.
"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." Ruth embraces the mission of American Agri-Women through mentoring a new generation of AAW members, communicating with news media on current topics pertaining to the agriculture industry, sharing 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.
In her position as Legislative Assistant to the Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee in Colorado, Ruth 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. Ruth has been involved in work on water resources, water quality and environmental issues on behalf of farmers and ranchers.