Association of Women in Agriculture Benefit Corporation Recognizes outstanding individuals for their contributions

Six outstanding individuals are honored by the Association of Women in Agriculture Benefit Corporation (AWABC) for their outstanding contributions to AWA and the agricultural community. Recognized individuals include Dr. Heather White, Alice and Dairyland Program, Eliza Ruzic, Pam Hodgson, Debra Wendorf Boyke and Alexis Luedtke were recognized for their contributions to the organization.
Debra Wendorf Boyke was recognized with the AWA Founders Award. The Founders Award is presented to an individual who has had a significant influence on students and alumni of AWA. Deb has positively impacted the lives of many women in agriculture at various levels through her work at the university and her volunteer work within dairy and broader agriculture circles. She is highly respected professionally and has given her time and talent on many levels. Deb played an integral role in creating a cohesive living unit for women in agriculture under one roof at UW-Madison and has given back to the organization for many years. She is a talented yet humble leader who is also a kind and caring friend to many.

Pam Hodgson was recognized as Outstanding Woman in Agriculture. The Outstanding Woman in Agriculture is recognized for her significant influence on the agricultural industry. Pam’s accomplishments have been many. She is one of just two women Master Cheesemakers and has developed many kinds of cheese for Sartori including the very popular MontAmore. She is a tireless supporter of the dairy industry by teaching consumers and journalists about the art of cheesemaking.
Alexis Luedtke is this year’s student Outstanding Senior. The Outstanding Senior is awarded for her years of leadership through AWA. Luedtke graduated with a degree in biochemistry and plans to attend medical school. Although Luedtke will not work in the agriculture industry upon graduation, AWA plays a unique role as it serves as a lifeline, providing the ever-necessary continuing education and networking that she will need to remain a strong advocate for agriculture and the agricultural industry.
Dr. Heather White was awarded the Friend of AWA. As the student advisor, she has gone above and beyond to help not only AWA, but each of the individual members this year. She is a positive example and mentor for all the students and has provided excellent guidance and support in accomplishing complex projects, tackling difficult issues and planning each of the events. She has always been there to provide guidance no matter what time of day. Dr. Heather White has also served as a bridge between the student organization and faculty members, which has been much appreciated. The group looks forward to her continued leadership. 
The Alice in Dairyland program was awarded the Honored guest. The Alice in Dairyland Program shares many of the same values and attributes as the Association of Women in Agriculture. They are also a strong supporter of and advocate for the agricultural industry and a classic supporter of women empowerment. This organization has always served as a wonderful supporter of the AWA program. Several AWA alumni have gone on to participate and further benefit from the professional development provided by this program. Alice in Dairyland has volunteered as a guest speaker for the student membership on many occasions.
Eliza Ruzic was awarded the Outstanding Alumni. Throughout this past year, Eliza took on the task of serving as president for her first term on the AWABC board and has done an excellent job in her position. Along with that, she has been a great resource and helping hand for not only the officer team, but the student membership as whole. She attended the student officer retreats in the fall and spring, along with helping lead important student alumni committees. We thank her for her dedication to both the alumni and student membership groups and look forward to her continued guidance. 
The six awards were presented at the organization’s AWA Day held on April 9th in Madison, Wis.