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Source: Oregon Women for Agriculture sent via AgPR--the news distribution service for agriculture

Oregon Women for Agriculture (OWA) celebrated their Golden Anniversary March 1 at their annual convention, hosted by Polk County, at Spirit Mountain Casino in Grand Ronde. Oregon Women for Agriculture's long-standing purpose is to educate themselves and then the public on the importance of agriculture.

Attending the 50th Anniversary Front row: Mary Holzapfel former OSU Extension Agent and OWA's 1st President. Back row: Virginia Kutsch, of Benton County, Jeree Mulkey, of Polk County, Liz VanLeeuwen, OWA's 1st Secretary and 3rd President, Rita Doerfler, of Marion County and Betty Jo Smith, of Linn County.

OWA was originally organized by Mary Holzapfel in August of 1969 when she called a group of about 200 farm wives together to discuss complaints neighboring communities had about the burning of straw after grass seed was harvested.

During the convention Deanna Dyksterhuis, of Newport, OR, who farmed with her husband in the Halsey and Corvallis areas, was given the group's LEAVEN award for her dedication and accomplishments. OWA presents the award to those members who, to an outstanding degree, are Loyal, Enthusiastic, Anticipatory, Valiant, Effective, and Nurturing: "LEAVEN".

Officers for 2019 from left to right, Treasurer Tracy Duerst, Recording Secretary Emily Duerst, 2nd Vice President Mary Hood, 1st Vice President Mallory Phelan, Past President Debbie Crocker, and President Helle Ruddenklau. (Not pictured Corresponding Secretary Jessica Hanna-Locke.)

Among Dyksterhuis' accomplishments are her work with Dr. Rod Fielder to write and publish the textbook GET OREGONIZED. She was an originator of OWA's annual FUNraiser dinner and auction, which celebrates its 32nd Anniversary this year on April 20, 2019 at the Linn County Fairgrounds in Albany. She was the group's 10th President and also served as the group's Historian for over 15 years.

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