The American Farm Bureau recognized 15 farm and ranch women leaders -- including southern Utah's Sherrie Lou (Staheli) Tate -- as graduates of the organization’s 12th annual Women’s Communications Boot Camp. The intensive three-day course completed by the agricultural leaders comprised hands-on sessions on public speaking, working with the media and messaging. 

“It’s gratifying to see the increased confidence of these women leaders as they sharpen their skills for sharing messages about agriculture,” said Sherry Saylor, an Arizona row crop farmer and chair of the AFB Women’s Leadership Committee. “Boot Camp graduates are persuasive and effective in connecting with influencers at the local, state and national levels,” she added. 

This year’s Boot Camp graduates are: Connie Hass, Colorado; Chyla Wilson, Idaho; Krista Swanson, Illinois; Patty Lange Fischer, Indiana; Michele Simoneaux, Louisiana; Cyndi Johnson, Montana; Elaine Moore, New Hampshire; Casey Spradley, New Mexico; Johanna Fox-Bossard, New York; Lee Rankin, North Carolina; Victoria Flowers, Oregon; Colbie Niswander, Tennessee; Laura Purtle, Tennessee; Sherrie Lou Tate, Utah; and Tammy Wiedenbeck, Wisconsin.