Sigma Alpha Sorority - Emerald Times - September 2021

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Mary Allison Page

Learn More about Mary Allison on Page 10

Sisters, Another summer has come to an end, and students have made their way back to school. Like most of the country, we were very dry which kept the Minnesota ‘state bug’, the mosquito, away which made it very comfortable for spending the evenings outside. My family enjoyed lots of camping this summer and is preparing for an early harvest.

Kim Neumann and daughter Emma with Kim (Halls) Duchene and her daughter Greta.

Thank you to all those who attended our first ever Virtual National Convention. The National Leadership Team hopes you learned a lot from the individual and team conditioning sessions and are bringing that information back to your chapters. Our keynote speaker, Elizabeth McCormick – a former US Black Hawk Pilot, was inspirational and taught us all how to FLY (First Lead Yourself). I hope attendees took advantage of Elizabeth’s gift to us – a free online course about motivation – I was recently asked what Sigma Alpha’s greatest strength was compared to other organizations, and I would have to say one of them is our sisterhood. I have met several sisters across the country since being activated, and each one has a story about a fellow sister. I am amazed at how sisters stay connected, even 20 or 30 years after being activated. One of my Sigma Alpha sisters and I started going camping together right after college, and to this day, we still go camping, but now include our expanding

National Convention Recap 3 New National Sorority Board 7 Chapter Consultants 8 Cover Story Feature 10 Growing Alumnae Participation 12 Page 2

families. Our daughters were born two months apart, so we look forward to them growing up together. Speaking of looking forward, the National Leadership Team is very excited for the upcoming year. Chapter Consultants will be back doing visits in person, as University and local COVID guidelines allow, and will provide virtual visits when necessary. The Learning Management System will feature a new training module for all collegiate members to complete, and Officer Manuals will begin being updated. The National Sorority Board will meet at the end of October to continue working on the Strategic Plan and review items that came out of the committees from National Convention. As we look ahead, make sure you mark your calendars for Leadership Seminars. The dates and locations can be found on the Sorority website. Feel free to reach out to me or any of the National Sorority Board members to share ideas or to ask questions. We would love to hear from you. In Sisterhood,

Kim (Stassen) Neumann National Sorority Board President

Scholarship Standouts Alumnae Updates Collegiate Chapter Updates Updates from HQ

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The 2021 virtual National Convention offered a variety of opportunities for collegians and alumna alike. We are thankful to the many volunteers and sisters who joined us! Your National Sorority Board enjoyed bringing you this year’s convention, and can’t wait for what’s ahead.

Thank you to the ag industry panel volunteers for sharing their experiences and knowledge! Ag Communications • Emily Upchurch Callison – Iowa Corn – Government Relations Manager, Sigma Alpha Alumna University of Tennessee • Lindsay Calvert – Iowa Corn – Leadership Development Manager • Emily Buck – RFD TV – Washington D.C. News Bureau Chief, Sigma Alpha Alumna University of Tennessee

Agronomy & Horticulture • Katie Farro – Channel Seed – Field Representative, Sigma Alpha Alumna Michigan State University • Madelaine Abreu – Site One – Area Nursery Business Manager

Animal Science & Agribusiness • Tera Baker – Nedap Livestock Management – Applications & Marketing Manager, Sigma Food Science and Ag Production Alpha Alumna Michigan State University • Samantha Bryant – Ardent Mills – Quality • Amelia Woods – Tyson Foods – Animal Manager, Sigma Alpha Alumna University of Welfare Specialist Nebraska Lincoln • Dr. Casey Langley – Large Animal • Alexis Andershock – University of Tennessee, Veterinarian – WY, Sigma Alpha Alumna Knoxville – Career Coach, Sigma Alpha University of Tennessee Alumna University of Tennessee • Macy McGuire - Farm Credit , Sigma Alpha • Jody Anderson – Cargill – Project Engineer, Alumna University of Tennessee Sigma Alpha Alumna South Dakota State • Lockard Cassidy - Tyson Foods - Welfare University Specialist, Sigma Alpha Alumna University of Tennessee Page 3

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1st Alpha Psi – Cornell University 2nd Alpha Iota – California State University – Chico 3rd Alpha Kappa – University of Delaware

Lambda – University of California – Davis Alpha Iota – California State University – Chico Alpha Kappa – University of Delaware Alpha Mu – University of Illinois Alpha Chi – University of Missouri – Columbia Alpha Psi – Cornell University

Chapter Membership Under 30

1st Alpha Gamma – Southern Illinois University – Carbondale, 91.67% 2nd Alpha Tau – University of Wisconsin – Madison, 25.00% 3rd Alpha Eta, 12.50% – Stephen F. Austin State University

Chapter Membership 30 – 49

1st Upsilon – North Dakota State University, 17.24% 2nd Beta Rho – Southern Arkansas University, 13.95% 3rd Alpha Xi – Missouri State University, 13.16%

Chapter Membership 50+


1st Gamma Alpha – Wilmington College 2nd Alpha Psi – Cornell University 3rd Alpha Iota – California State University – Chico


1st Gamma Alpha – Wilmington College 2nd Alpha Iota – California State University – Chico 3rd Alpha Kappa – University of Delaware


1st Theta – University of Tennessee 2nd Gamma Alpha – Wilmington College 3rd Omega – South Dakota State University


1st Gamma Alpha – Wilmington College 2nd Alpha Pi – Texas A&M University 3rd Sigma – Western Illinois University

Beta Omicron – University of Kentucky

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1st Lambda – University of California – Davis, 43.59% 2nd Alpha Zeta – Tarleton State University, 28.57% 3rd Alpha Beta – Northwest Missouri State University, 16.67%

Outstanding Website: Alpha Chi – University of Missouri – Columbia Outstanding Leader: Sarah Thomas – Pi – Virginia Tech Outstanding Advisor: Deborah Grusenmeyer – Alpha Psi – Cornell University Outstanding Social Media: Alpha Gamma – Southern Illinois University – Carbondale Outstanding Senior: Emilee Stump – Beta Gamma – University of Florida Outstanding New Member: Paige Teeters – Gamma Alpha – Wilmington College Jennifer McMillan Outstanding Service in Ag: Gamma Alpha – Wilmington College

Marissa Bradsher – Alpha Iota Alumna Dr. Anna Daniel Reddish – Alpha Omicron Alumna

On Monday, July 19, there was a special virtual alumnae team-building event. The event sent groups of alumnae on a virtual scavenger hunt to create videos, solve riddles, capture photos and many other challenges to score points. 20 alumnae participated in the event, which allowed them to meet other sisters and get to know each other better. Here are a few photos!

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Clockwise from upper right—Jessica Graham receiving Board Recognition from Kim Neumann; April Burg receiving Board Recognition from Kim Neumann; a few at home attendees enjoy convention; members of NSB “backstage” at Emerald Banquet learning to FLY; Chapter Consultants learning to FLY during Emerald Banquet.

Our keynote speaker from National Convention, Former Black Hawk Helicopter Pilot, Elizabeth McCormick provided a free gift online for all of our members. Visit to access the online course "Master Your Motivation" at no cost to you! Thank you to Elizabeth for this free gift to Sigma Alpha!

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Carmen is an alumna of the Alpha Omicron Chapter. She is a Fulbright Specialist, Army combat veteran, and agricultural education specialist. Carmen started her career as a middle and high school agriculture teacher and FFA advisor after earning her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia. She served as the Curriculum Writer and as a Facilitator for the Sigma Alpha and AGR leadership seminars for three years. Carmen and her two dogs recently relocated to Washington, D.C. She is currently pursuing a PhD at Texas A&M University with an emphasis in Program Evaluation and Non-Profit Management.

Lynn graduated from University of Wisconsin – River Falls in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in marketing communications. She Lynn began her position as a National Chapter Consultant in 2019. She has been a marketing communications specialist at Kuhn North America, Inc., but recently decided to pursue graduate studies at the University of Wisconsin—La Crosse. In her free time, Lynn chairs the newsletter committee for the Public Relations Society of America, likes to farm with her family, spend time with friends, write, bake, and travel.

Andrea graduated from South Dakota State University in 2016 with a degree in Ag Communications and served as president and sisterhood chair at the Omega chapter. In 2020, Andrea served as an AGR/Sigma Alpha Leadership Seminar Facilitator. She is the owner of Avenue A by Andrea, focusing on weddings, portraits and livestock photography. When she isn’t behind the camera or computer, you can find Andrea playing with her sons or traveling to visit extended family on their farms in Nebraska and South Dakota.

Angela graduated in 2016 from California State University – Chico with a bachelor’s degree in animal science and a minor in agricultural business. She was vice president and recruitment chair of the Alpha Iota Chapter. Angela is building a “side hustle” of buying, growing, and selling feeder calves. In her spare time, she teaches Jazzercise and manages PR for the Oregon CattleWomen’s Association. Page 7

Each year, a wonderful group of volunteers represent Sigma Alpha Sorority at the regional level. These Cha successful operations of the collegiate chapters. Join us in welcoming the new Chapter Consultants and wel

Jennifer graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls in 2014 with a Bachelor’s degree in agriculture business with an emphasis in animal science. She was an active member of the Beta Zeta Chapter. She works for CHS as a commodity merchandiser and volunteers on the University of Wisconsin— River Falls campus with students, many of whom are Sigma Alpha sisters, prepare for internships and full-time job interviews. She loves anything agriculture related, exercising and being outside.

Bryn graduated from Kansas State University in December 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics. She grew up in Hiawatha, Kansas on a 6th generation family farm, which led to her research interest in commodity markets. She was an active member of the Alpha Omega Chapter and served on the executive board. She has completed two grain merchandising internships and her master’s degree in agricultural economics at Kansas State. She recently accepted a position with the Economic Research Service (USDA) in Kansas City, Missouri.

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Katelyn grew up on a hobby farm in De Pere, WI and developed an interest in agriculture and leadership through 4-H and FFA. She graduated in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in animal science from the University of Wisconsin– River Falls, and earned a master’s degree from South Dakota State University. Katelyn was an active member of the Beta Zeta chapter and served as treasurer for two years. She is active with the University of Wisconsin—River Falls alumnae chapter, where she serves as membership chair. She currently works at Iowa State University as a lecturer in the animal science dept.

Michelle is an alumn University where she in Agricultural Comm degree in Agricultura Texas Tech Univers Membership & Com Cattlemen’s Associa years. She is a freel AgDaily,  ActionHub free time, she enjoys hiking, traveling, or p

Abbie is a 2021 grad degree in Animal Sc focus in dairy manag member of the Alph tenure, serving as th President. She grew small dairy farm, an running, hiking, and and dogs!

Mindy graduated fro in 2019 with a bach Resources with a fo She was a member served as President chair. Mindy is curre Erosion Control Offi serves as the Progr Envirothon. In her s new places, going fo Pilates.

apter Consultants support, mentor and guide chapter officers in the performance of their duties to create lcoming the returning consultants!

na of the Beta Eta Chapter at Auburn e received an undergraduate degree munications, follow by a master’s al Communications at a distance from sity. Michelle currently serves as the mmunications Director for the Arkansas ation, a role she has held for three lance journalist, writing articles for b  and Ranch House Designs. In her s spending time outside kayaking, playing disc golf with her husband.

Born and raised in Goochland County, Virginia, Taylor quickly fell in love with agriculture on her family's cow/calf operation. In May 2021, Taylor graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Animal & Poultry Sciences from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State Universty. While an undergraduate, Taylor was an active member of the Pi Chapter of Sigma Alpha, serving as the chapter President, as well as the Internal Philanthropy Chair. After graduation, Taylor moved to Basalt, Colorado, where she is pursuing her love for the livestock industry and the outdoors.

duate from Cornell University with a cience, a minor in Education, and a gement. She was an active ha Psi chapter during her collegiate he 2nd Vice President and w up in Central New York on a nd in her spare time she enjoys d spending time with friends, family,

Liz Grady earned her Bachelor of Science in Life Sciences Communication from the University of Wisconsin – Madison in May of 2020. She works as a Marketing Coordinator for Midwestern BioAg in Blue Mounds, Wisconsin. As an undergraduate, Liz was very active in Sigma Alpha, having served as President and Public Relations Chair of the Alpha Tau Chapter. Liz is a lover of personal and professional development and can often be found reading books or listening to podcasts. She lives on her family’s small dairy farm in the Madison, Wisconsin area.

om the University of Connecticut helor’s degree in Natural ocus in Fisheries Management. r of the Eta Chapter where she t, Historian, and Fundraising ently a Wetland Agent and icer for a municipality and also ram Coordinator for Connecticut spare time, she enjoys exploring or walks, listening to music and

Sam is an alumna of the Beta Chapter at Purdue University where she served as First Vice President her sophomore year and President her senior year. While in school, she was a part of the National Agri-Marketing Team that ranked semi-finalist twice. She also served as an ambassador for the agriculture economics department at Purdue. After graduation, she started working for an equipment dealer full-time in training and employee development. Page 9

Behind every Sigma Alpha event, there are many people and companies that believe deeply in this sorority. But what happens when that support goes to the next level? Something special happens when a sponsor becomes more than a believer, but also an employer of Sigma Alpha sisters. Meet Mary Allison Page. She is originally from Gibsonville, North Carolina, and a spring 2021 Mississippi State University graduate. She majored in Horticulture with a concentration in Fruit and Vegetable Production and also received minors in International Studies in Agriculture and Ornamental Horticulture/ Floriculture.

While in College, Mary joined Sigma Alpha to meet other women who were as active and interested in agriculture as she was, and to have a chance to network within the industry and build more relationships on campus. It also helped lead to a career with SiteOne, an Emerald level sponsor with Sigma Alpha.

“I first became familiar with SiteOne the summer going into my senior year. Ms. Robyn Moffat, a Recruiting Manager within SiteOne, reached out to me mentioning that SiteOne was looking for remote interns who were majoring in Horticulture,” explained Page. “At the time, I jumped at the idea because we were in the middle of the pandemic, I wanted something to do, and thought it would be great work experience going into my last year

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of undergrad. However, through the course of the internship, I actually began to picture myself working for SiteOne on a fulltime basis after college. I fully enjoyed working with the Nursery Category, and the work itself was something I liked.” Despite being fully remote, Mary Allison says her internship experience with SiteOne was one of the best internship experiences. She worked with the Nursery Category team and two other interns as part of a huge taxonomy project. "To me, the work was satisfying and very informative. SiteOne treated us like one of their own, and it was a great experience.” Following the internship, SiteOne offered Mary Allison a full-time role in the company. Currently, she works as the Nursery Data Coordinator for the Nursery Category team. “I work remotely with the Demand and Fulfillment team, plant vendors, Nursery

Purchasing Agents, branches, and the National Buyers on various projects and jobs within the category,” she explained. “Looking back, I cannot believe that I am now working for one of Sigma Alpha’s sponsors. Prior to the internship, I was not sure what part of the horticulture field I would pursue after college. However, thanks to Sigma Alpha, I am now working in my degree field for such a fantastic company. It shows how beneficial the sorority is and what it can offer to sisters in college. The partnership between SiteOne and Sigma Alpha is very special, and I urge any sister in a green industry-related major to look at SiteOne as your next step in or after college!” For Sigma Alpha sisters interested in internships and career opportunities with SiteOne, reach out to Ms. Robyn Moffat at

Mary Alison with SiteOne co-worker and Sigma Alpha alumna, Victoria Phillips.

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Sigma Alpha is simply, for life. The bonds of sisterhood carry through the years and decades after walking across the graduation stage, but staying connected as an alumna isn’t always easy. Just ask Heidi (Hamilton) Russ. Heidi is a 2018 graduate of Iowa State University in Agronomy and currently serves as a Farm Account Manager for Lee Agency, where she helps farmers insure their farm operations adequately. She also serves as the President for the Iowa State Alumnae Chapter of Sigma Alpha, one of the sorority’s most active alumnae chapters. “We currently have 442

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alumnae, but we really want to continue to grow and stay involved with the collegiate chapter,” explains Heidi, who mentions lots of different ways they do that as a chapter, including an alumnae tailgate, alumnae banquet and an upcoming event where they’ll create their own charcuterie boards. “We also recently implemented a mentorship program with the collegiate chapter which helps bridge the gap between the collegiate and alumnae chapter.” If you’re alumnae chapter is looking to grow in number and influence, Heidi offers a few pieces of advice:

Start by focusing on sisterhood. “I believe alumnae stay involved in our chapter because we put a great deal of focus on sisterhood and staying in touch. It can be tough to stay connected with even the closest of friends so we work really hard to check in on each other, do updates on social media and plan events that are both in person and online so people can still join even if they are out of the local area.” Emphasize the things that matter to your members. “I think the most important thing we do every year is our alumnae banquet. It allows us to connect with the collegiate chapter, recognize women in our alumnae chapter who have gone above and beyond and to connect what has been going on between the alumnae and collegiate chapters.”

Have patience and grace. “It can be difficult to stay in touch with each other, even with the best of intentions. It takes time to build engagement, but every year the chapter has the opportunity to invite the recent graduates in…I think making the new alumnae feel invited, appreciated and loved truly helps them continue to grow in their journey as a Sigma Alpha sister, even as an alumna.”

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Congratulations to the 607 sisters who earned a GPA of 3.75 or higher to be named to the Emerald Scholar List. The Alpha Chi chapter of University of Missouri – Colombia had the most sisters receiving Emerald Scholar honors this year. Reagan Limback is at a Junior at the University of Missouri – Colombia, and will serve this fall as the chapter’s Campus and Community Outreach Chair. Scholarship is part of her responsibility, and she believes the success of their chapter has to do with the sister’s individual drive. “The sisters in our chapter are very driven and motivated to be the best versions of

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themselves,” explained Reagan. “No matter if it’s Sigma Alpha or in the classroom, each member gives their whole heart.” Reagan also shares that the chapter has a monthly incentive program that rewards collegiate members for outstanding academic achievements. If you receive an A on a big test or project, names are put into a hat and one name is drawn to receive a gift card that month. “We use this incentive program to congratulate each other on academic achievements,” said Reagan. “We know that if we need help or feel behind, that our sisters can help each other out,” said

Reagan. She also shared that the chapter is looking to add more activities back to their scholarship programs as they are able this fall. For chapters looking to improve scholarship, Reagan points to accountability by sisters to help make a difference. “Help each other to stay accountable and find time to study,” advised Reagan. “School is our top priority since that’s why we’re here.”

Congratulations to the sisters of the Alpha Gamma Chapter at Southern Illinois University! At the conclusion of the 2020-2021 school year, the chapter received accolades as the second highest chapter GPA out of the entire Greek community and #1 GPA in the College Panhellenic Association!

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Last year, Angela Scott married the man of her dreams and moved to Texas. This meant she left behind her previous work with Zoetis Animal Health, but it gave her and her husband the opportunity to grow their own cattle business. They are now selling direct-to-consumer beef! Being an entrepreneur has brought a whole new level of fulfillment! Angela and her big sister from Sigma Alpha’s Alpha Iota chapter, Mary Fagundes, have also started a podcast and social media platform for connecting and inspiring rural women.

Congratulations to Heather Gorman, who was recently named Southern Arkansas University Greek Advisor of the Year! Heather is an alumna of and the advisor for the Beta Rho chapter.

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Congratulations to Bryn Swearingen, an alumna of the Alpha Omega chapter, who recently graduated with a Masters Degree and accepted a job with the Economic Research Service (USDA) in Kansas City, Missouri. She will be working on the wheat outlook team, which is responsible for publishing the monthly Outlook report.

Life moves and changes quickly after graduation, and we want to celebrate the wins in your life with you! Keep us updated on where you live and what you’re up to, and we promise to do the same. Please login to The Greenhouse on the Sigma Alpha website to update your information. Share updates with us on your personal and professional successes on the Sigma Alpha website, and we’d love to feature you right here in The Emerald Times. Visit to share with us today!

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November 7, 2020 will be a day to remember for the Alpha Iota chapter. For three alumnae of California State-Chico, it will be a day they share forever. For moms Megan Cambell, Keri Barnes and Tamara Hoglund, Sigma Alpha Sisters that attended college and were active sisters at the same time (peep the photo from their college days!), that day represents the birth of their children. Yes—three moms, three babies—all on the same day.

“I graduated in 2014 and currently living in Reno, Nevada. I work as a medical assistant for Renown Behavioral Health. In Sigma Alpha, my favorite thing was all the friends I've made and stayed in contact with over the years. A lot of them were in my wedding, and I'm truly grateful for all of my sisters. there's been so much support and love.

What I love most about being a mom is watching Mackenzie grow and how she looks at me. She makes my day when I see her smile, and I love how much she loves her daddy and mommy.”

“I’m a 2014 graduate and currently reside in Manteca, CA. I am an Ag Teacher at Patterson High school! I love teaching food science and being an advisor. I run a breeding ewe program at the high school and advise the sheep projects. Page 18

“I graduated in 2015. My family and I are currently living in Corning, California on a 10-acre parcel with a fruit tree orchard, our horses, chickens and dogs. I am currently working part time at a Deli/ Butcher shop in Chico, while working on starting up my own business as an independent paparazzi accessories star consultant! And doing online schooling through Penn Foster to get my associates degree in veterinary technology, qualifying myself to become a registered veterinary technician. I love everything about being a mom! But my favorite moments are getting to see Kayden laugh and smile! He is gaining such an amazing personality, and my husband and I love getting to see him grow every day!

My favorite and most vivid moments with Sigma Alpha would be all the fun activities we got to do together!! Broom hockey during recruitment, sisterhood camping, and our wonderful paint fights!”

As cliché as it sounds I love making Grant smile. It warms my heart hearing him giggle. My favorite thing about Sigma Alpha was always having the support of my sisters no matter what the circumstance was. I gave Sigma Alpha my all when I was in it, and it became my life. My sisters were my family, and we made so many memories together! One of my favorite memories I have from Sigma Alpha was our 2013 summer retreat. We all bonded so much, gained leadership and truly became closer!”

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On January 25, 2020, the Alpha Mu chapter of the University of Illinois celebrated their 20th anniversary. To celebrate the occasion, over 40 charter members, alumnae and active sisters gathered for an evening together. Congratulations, Alpha Mu, and here’s to the next 20!

Raiderland Experience was brought to us by Texas Tech’s Department of Transition and Engagement, and was created to provide incoming first-year students, along with transfer students, the ability to come onto campus and receive additional advising and experience as they transition to Texas Tech. Each academic college has informational students enrolled with their college. By being a part of the Agri-Techsans organization—which is a college recruiting organization for the college of agricultural sciences—we prepare students for success within Texas Tech’s College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. While at Raiderland Experience, we give detailed tours and offer real student advice to help prepare them for their time as a CASNR student. It’s a great way to get them engaged within our college! Page 20

On February 8th, the Fort Hays State University Chapter had a sisterhood meeting and went ice skating at the Downtown Hays Ice Rink!

In the last issue of Emerald Times, we featured sisters who recently received FFA American Degrees. Congratulations to two more sisters, Joria and Claire, for receiving this award! Claire Meyer  Chapter: Alpha Chapter College Major: Agricultural Communications FFA SAE: Beef Entrepreneurship and Specialty Crop Entrepreneurship (Popcorn) Favorite FFA Memory: My favorite memory was the day of State Advanced Parliamentary Procedure. Our team had all been working together for the last 3-4 years trying to get a state banner. In my senior year we finally had the opportunity to get to the finals and get that banner. I remember the drive back to school with the banner in hand and the feeling of excitement and triumph. Jorja Cooper Chapter: Alpha Omicron  Major: Animal Science, minor in Agribusiness  SAE: Dairy Production Placement  Favorite FFA Memory: Traveling to National FFA Convention and getting to meet FFA members from across the United States!

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The dates and locations have been set for the 2020 Alpha Gamma Rho and Sigma Alpha Leadership Seminars. Mark your calendars and plan to join us this February! • February 3 – 5: Nashville, TN • February 10 – 12: Kansas City, MO • February 17 – 19: Denver, CO • February 2022: Virtual Leadership Seminar Start planning now for your chapter to attend one of this year’s Leadership Seminars. More details will be available soon at

Be part of an upcoming issue! Some examples of the content we’d love to include: • Celebrated a major life event like a new job, getting married or having a baby • Completed a great philanthropy, social event or activity as a chapter • Received a chapter or individual award at your college or university • Received an industry or company award To spotlight personal and professional success, complete the Sister Highlight Form. To highlight chapter updates, complete the Chapter Highlight Form in the forms section of the Officer Portal.

Looking to breath some new life to your chapter’s recruitment program! Join Teresa Brandenburg, Chapter Operations Manager for an in-depth look at key components to recruitment success. In this session Teresa strips recruitment down to the basics and illustrates the path to integrate the most important part of recruitment, the building of relationships, into your program. Register now for one of two sessions being held in November! • Monday, November 1, 2021—7:00 pm—9:00 pm (CDT) - Register in advance. • Tuesday, November 9, 2021—1:00 PM—3:00 PM (CDT) - Register in advance. Page 22

When Melea Licht learned she had received the Spirt of Ruth Award in 2018, four words came to mind right away: Surprised. Flattered. Grateful. Honored. The Iowa State alumna knew how much this award meant in Sigma Alpha, and what it represented. “The Spirit of Ruth award embodies qualities I strive for: grit, gratitude, and grace,” explained Melea. “Ruth’s example inspires me to look around my community, workplace, and social circles and ask: What perspectives are missing? Who can I welcome in? Receiving this award inspired me to recommit myself to these values, to the values of service, scholarship, leadership, and fellowship, and to live them each day.” The Spirit of Ruth Award was created to recognize Sigma Alpha Alumnae who embody the spirit of Ruth through active involvement, leadership, and commitment to the field of agriculture. The award winners must be dues paid alumnae in good standing. Applications are now open, and must be completed by October 15. Award winners will be recognized at the 2022 Leadership Seminars. “Celebrating the accomplishments of one another brings us closer together as sisters and raises the local and national profile of our wonderful organization,” reinforced Melea. “Receiving an award like the Spirit of Ruth Award may be just the boost your sister needs at a pivotal moment in her life. Who do you know who is making a difference for others? Use the Spirit of Ruth award to honor and celebrate her!”

Melea Licht receives the Spirit of Ruth Award from Kim Neumann.

To nominate a sister for the Spirit of Ruth award, visit and login to the Greenhouse, where you will be able to access the application.

Application Information   

Applications Open Applications Close Number of Awards

September 1, 2021 October 31, 2021 One per Leadership Seminar

Eligibility: Dues paid alumnae In Good Standing

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Applications for the 2022 IFYE Exchange program are being accepted beginning August 1, 2021. “We are very excited to open our application process early,” said Alan Lambert, IFYE National Program Director. “As countries begin to open later this year and early next, we will be well positioned to begin our 2022 program,” he added. Founded in 1948 as the International Farm Youth Exchange (IFYE), transitioned to International 4-H Youth Exchange in the 1970s, and since the mid-1990s, IFYE is a 501c3 non-profit organization. IFYE has continued its founding promise by providing international cultural exchange programming that places young adults, age 19 and above with multiple, rural based host families for two- three- or six-month programs in countries around the world to become immersed in the country’s culture by living it on a daily basis. Young adults interested in applying for the program should visit the IFYE website at When applications are received, interviews will be scheduled for the selection process. Once approved and placed, the selected participants will experience a four-month orientation process that will culminate in Washington, D.C. prior to departure to host countries. The U.S. IFYE representatives experience once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to gain understanding of the culture and lifestyle from those they live with while in the program. IFYE exchanges are conducted in collaboration with international, U.S., state and local coordinators and are facilitated and supported by the IFYE Association of the USA, Inc. The IFYE motto of “Peace Through Understanding” continues to touch the lives of people around the world. To learn more, visit

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