As I start my term as USAIN President, I want to give thanks to our Past President, Jessica Page, for her leadership during a year when nothing went according to schedules or plans and so much was out of our control. I feel so grateful to be part of an organization that does important work while valuing the humanity of each of its members. I experienced such humility in needing to ask for help in work and in every other area of life last year and I want to thank all of you who supported each other, shared burdens, and were all-around amazing colleagues. As we can see from Claudine’s report, it was a busy year in spite of everything.
In her message last year, Jessica stated that “USAIN stands with those working for justice and against racism.” I want to reiterate this message for this year and all those to come. This is core to the work that we do and the culture of our organization.
As we kick off Pride Month (a big holiday in my family!) and prepare for our conference in Arkansas -- one of many states that has passed legislation targeting transgender youth this year -- I’m particularly cognizant of the work to be done in supporting LGBTQ+ farmers and agriculturists. This is something we have been discussing on the EC and I welcome feedback from all members on this as well.
I look forward to having these conversations and doing this work with all of you, and to seeing as many of you as possible at our 2022 conference.
My (virtual) door/inbox is always open to all of you to share your ideas, concerns, and questions about USAIN.
With great excitement for the year to come,