I grew up on a farm in northwest Iowa, and have always been passionate about environmental issues. (That’s me on the left with the incredible former State Senator Becky Lourey.) I was also lucky enough to be raised by a strong woman, and watch her evolve into a strong feminist during the Equal Rights Amendment debates of the 1970s. I’ve worked with and for social justice and environmental organizations my entire career, and have always advocated for the equal status of women. It was my privilege to be executive director of Women, Food and Agriculture Network from 2008 to 2014. This national network of women is engaged in all aspects of healthy food and farming, and includes farmers, advocates, educators, health care providers, students and policy-makers. I believe that agriculture in the US is almost entirely a policy-driven industry. Good policy is critical to human, ecological and social health, and the voices of women have been almost entirely absent from agricultural policy in America. Projects like VoteRunLead and Plate to Politics provide leadership training and encouragement for women to engage at all levels — from the farmhouse to the White House. I believe that when more women are at the table, food and farm policy will improve. So take advantage of everything VRL has to offer you — every small step you take can only move your issues forward!