June 12, 2024

IAW presents awards to three outstanding members

Diana Ropp (far right) presents awards to three exceptional Illinois Agri-Women members during the group’s annual meeting. Members receiving special honors are: Susan Wall (from left), Hall of Fame winner; Sarah Michaels, Outstanding Business Women; and Lynn Curry, Outstanding Farmer.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Three superior members of the Illinois Agri-Women were honored with awards during the group’s annual meeting.

The Hall of Fame award was presented to Susan Wall, Lynn Curry was selected as the Outstanding Farmer winner, and Sarah Michaels was honored with the Outstanding Business Women award.

“Susan Wall has been a great ag advocate by promoting women and their very important role in farming,” said Diana Ropp, IAW central regional director, when presenting the award.

“She is the co-owner and operator with her husband of Wall Farms and Don Wall Hay Company,” said Ropp about Wall, who will also be recognized during the Illinois State Fair in August.

“Together, they farm about 1,000 acres of corn, soybeans, raise beef cattle and have a hay business outside of Sorento.”

The Walls have grown and sold quality hay for 30 years in Illinois and surrounding states.

“They have been a formidable team working together for over 50 years where they have gone through floods, droughts, tornadoes and death of animals,” Ropp said. “All three of their children were active in 4-H and FFA and as adults they are involved in ag-related fields.”

Wall is the past president of IAW and she served as the 2018 convention chair when the Illinois group hosted the American Agri-Women National Convention in Springfield.

“Everybody that gets these awards does so many fabulous things,” said Wall, after receiving the Hall of Fame honor. “I didn’t know I was anywhere in that crowd.”

Outstanding Farmer

Curry farms with her husband in Pike County.

“Her farm and ag background served her well at John Wood Community College where she welcomed between 60 to 100 students and their parents every year, for over 20 years that she worked there,” said Sarah Michaels, IAW member, as she presented the award.

“While working at the college, she strongly encouraged young women to attend and help with Women Changing the Face of Agriculture,” Michaels said.

“Lynn was actively involved in the event when it was in Quincy at John Wood Community College and she’s been involved ever since then.”

Curry currently sits on the Illinois Agricultural Resource Inc. board and she is chair of the IAW Scholarship Committee.

“I have enjoyed being a farmer and my dad was so proud of me when I drove the tractor for the first time,” Curry said.

“He wouldn’t let me drive when I was a little girl because he thought it was too dangerous, but when my husband needed help with plowing, my dad was so proud I could do that.”

The IAW award winner is very involved with the farm and does various tasks including driving the water wagon for the sprayer, hauling corn, working with the cattle and completing bookkeeping work.

“This is quite an honor,” said Curry about receiving the award.

“When I found out Lynn was going to be honored, I said please tell me so I can be here to recognize a very important person to me and all of us in Pike County,” said Jeff Galle, professor of agribusiness at Illinois College. “I’m excited for Lynn.”

Outstanding Business Women

“This year’s professional has a thirst for education and she is a timeless, relentless advocate for agriculture,” Ropp said. “Sarah earned her bachelor’s degree from Southern Illinois University focusing on agronomy and weed science and she has a Masters of Education in agricultural education from the University of Missouri.”

Michaels taught botany and horticulture classes at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and while she was in Austin, Texas, she taught general classes for five years.

“After moving back to her family farm in central Illinois, Sarah developed and launched two consumer-focused agricultural shows at WEEK 25 News TV,” Ropp said.

“When she is not talking everything ag and developing content for the show known as ‘Food, Farms & Biofuel,’ you will likely catch her driving across the country to visit her adult kids or preparing to record an interview or write a story.”

The IAW award winner is involved in the Illinois Ag Leadership Program, the Illinois Pork Producers Association, the Illinois Beef Association, Ag in the Classroom, Illinois Agricultural Resource Council Inc. and Women Changing the Face of Agriculture.

Rules Of Order

Also during the annual meeting, IAW member Krista Robertson provided information about how to efficiently run a meeting with the use of Robert’s Rules of Order.

“The guiding principles are everyone has the right to participate in the discussion, everyone has the right to understand and know what’s going on in the meeting and only one item can be discussed at a time,” Robertson said.

A motion is used to introduce a topic for discussion.

“That’s how you bring an idea to the meeting,” Robertson said. “The motion has to have a second to move on. It can’t just be your idea. You have to have support from someone else.”

If someone at the meeting wants to change the wording of a motion under discussion, that is done by amending the motion.

“If you think the motion needs more study, you can refer that to a committee or you can move to postpone the decision to another time,” Robertson said.

“If you’re tired of the current discussion, you can move to limit the debate, but you need a two-thirds vote to pass that.”

During the discussion, Robertson highlighted which types of activities during a meeting need to be seconded, which ones are open for discussion or can be amended and whether an action requires a majority or two-thirds vote count to be passed.

Martha Blum

Martha Blum

Field Editor