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AWA History

In the spring of 1973, 10 women majoring in agriculture at the University of Wisconsin – Madison formed an organization called the Ag Women's Cooperative. These forward-thinking women  sought to form a unified group that would improve communication among women in agriculture and aid them in achieving their goals.  In the fall of 1974, the name was changed to the Association of Women in Agriculture (AWA).

An early goal of the organization was to obtain a living unit for student members. A 1974 letter-writing campaign to College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) women graduates raised $300 and attracted interest in AWA. The money was used to purchase an upright freezer.

AWA's first spring banquet, which included an annual meeting, installation of officers, and  awards ceremony, was held in the spring of 1976. Today, this is annual event is known as AWA Day.

The alumni organization officially formed in 1979, and in 1981, AWA incorporated. The Board of Directors acts as the corporation's governing body.

AWA's first newsletter was published in 1979. Today, AWA uses its website and regular electronic communications to stay in contact with members and friends.

Fundraising has always been an integral part of AWA. Since 1983, one of our biggest sources of fundraising income has been football parking. Over the years, other fundaisers have included the sale of Tupperware, Pampered Chef, kringles, note cards, calendars, etc.

 
 
 
 
 

Timeline

1973 Ag Women's Co-op founded
1974 Name changed to the Association of Women in Agriculture (AWA)
First fundraiser was a letter writing campaign, raising $300
First house at 308 North Prospect
1976 First Spring Banquet began
Farmers Olympics began
1977 Slave Sale Began
1978 Rented 1935 University Avenue and 412 Paunack Place
First Homecoming Warm Down held
1979 AWA began affiliation with Farm House Fraternity
First Spring Fling (Formal) held
Newsletter begins
Alumni organization founded
1980 Summer Picnic started
1981 AWA incorporated to AWA Inc.
Slave Sale renamed to Foot Follies; died due to controversy
1983 Blue and White House purchased
Affiliation with Farm House ended
1985 Ag Women's Conference began
1989 First representative on Homecoming court
Fundraising started for new house
1990 Participated in Homecoming with Babcock House for the first time
AWA Day and Ag Women's Conference combined
1993 Final plans for new house completed
1994 Old blue house torn down, and building of the new AWA House began in spring
Building completed in August, first residents moved in for the fall semester
New house dedication was held on November 19, 1994
Hundreds of donors, faculty, actives and alumni attend dedication
1995 New house featured in Wisconsin State Journal, receives Community Award
1996 First AWA Dairy Breakfast held, now known as Breakfast on the Farm (BOTF)
1997 More than 1,000 people served at the second annual AWA Dairy Breakfast
1998 AWA celebrated 25th Anniversary with AWA Day at the new Monona Terrace Convention Center
1999 Received Cancer Walk Recognition for outstanding performance and fundraising
AWA had a member on the Homecoming court
2000 Record attendance at AWA Dairy Breakfast: More than 1,500 people were served!
2003 AWA celebrates their 30th anniversary with a special AWA Day program
2004 AWA House celebrates its 10th anniversary
2006 AWA had a member on the Homecoming court
2008 AWA had a member on the Homecoming court
2010 AWA had a member on the Homecoming court
2013 AWA becomes educational non-profit and recognized as the Association of Women in Agriculture Benefit Corporation
AWA members begin hosting Ag Chat radio show on WSUM
2014 AWA House mortgage was paid off
Student membership reaches all-time high with 122 members
Ag Chat radio show receives first place, best public affairs/talk show from Wisconsin Broadcasters Association
2016 1st Annual Rally to Fight Hunger held
AWA House basement recreated into a usable living/study space
Capital Campaign Begins for AWA House Remodel
2017 2nd Annual Rally to Fight Hunger a success in collaboration with AGR
Renovations in Progress for the AWA House Kitchen & Great Room Remodel