MANHATTAN, Kans. (AgPR) -- Leaders of American Agri-Women (AAW) from throughout the country connected with their consumers and policy makers at the organization’s 25th annual Fly- in to Washington D.C.

During the week, 45 women from 12 states met with officials at the US Department of Agriculture, US Department of Interior and the Environmental Protection Agency and with Members of Congress.

AAW members were updated on immigration legislation by Craig Regelbrugge, co-chair of Agriculture Coalition for Immigration Reform. They were also briefed by Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan concerning the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food initiative. Other topics AAW leaders were informed about included Homeland Security and Emergency Coordination, Food Safety and Animal Welfare.

AAW also brought their 2010 policy positions to their Congressmen and Senators on the Hill. The priority issues included Ag Jobs legislation; Argentina Debt; Antibiotic use in animal agriculture; the Atrazine review; broadband availability; the Clean Water Act; energy and climate change legislation; ESA reform; Open Equal Access to Justice Act; Estate tax reform; food safety; wilderness area expansion and horse slaughter.

During the meeting at the House Agriculture Committee Room, AAW presented the first AAW Champion of Agriculture award to House Agriculture Committee Chair Collin Peterson (D-MN). The Champion of Agriculture Award was also presented to Senator James Inhofe (R-OK).

AAW President, Chris Wilson said, “This outstanding Congressman and Senator have worked to ensure that any energy legislation would not be detrimental to food and fiber production.”

American Agri-Women is the nation’s largest coalition of farm, ranch and agribusiness women with 58 state, commodity and agribusiness affiliate organizations throughout the country. It is an all-volunteer organization, working to advocate agriculture since 1974. For more information, visit the website at Or, contact AAW President Chris Wilson at [email protected], or 785-844-0274.