Plate to Politics trains hundreds of women, expands to new states

At our most recent training at the Michigan Good Food Summit, current Mayor of Ypsilanti Amanda Edmonds (center) and Lansing City Council member Kathie Dunbar (far right) shared their experiences running for and serving in public office. Plate to Politics Coordinator Ash Bruxvoort (far left) facilitated the discussion.

In 2018, WFAN’s signature women’s leadership training program, Plate to Politics, has already provided skills-based political leadership training to over 250 women in food and agriculture from more than twenty states. Since its inception in 2011, the program has experienced continuous growth every year. This year Plate to Politics has executed 90-minute to 7-hour workshops at…

The final training for 2018 will take place at Stepping Into Action: WFAN’s 2018 annual conference in Des Moines, Iowa, on November 2. The conference is the largest gathering annual gathering of women from the WFAN. Registration for this workshop and the conference are still open here.

The workshops help attendees recognize their natural leadership abilities, identify stories they can use to move people to action, and connect them with inspiring women leaders from across the country. In the full-day workshops, attendees practice two-minute stump speeches in a safe and supportive environment. A well-practiced stump speech is the number one tool candidates and activists will use when announcing their campaign, raising money, and moving people to action.

Women Are Stepping Up to Run

WFAN’s Plate to Politics program offers leadership development training to women so they can channel their passion for healthy food and farming into serving on boards and commissions and running for state and federal legislative office.

“It’s been an exciting year for Plate to Politics as more women who have been impacted by our program run for office,” said Ash Bruxvoort, WFAN’s Plate to Politics Coordinator. “In Iowa, Kayla Koether has done a great job running as she is for the Iowa House of Representatives. Former board member and Plate to Politics alumnae Patti Naylor is running for Greene County Supervisor in Iowa. Kriss Marion is having a blast running for Wisconsin State Senate with the support and encouragement from her Soil Sisters network.”

Kayla Koether attended the Plate to Politics session at the Rural Women’s Leadership track during Vote Run Lead’s Run As You Are national training during the fall of 2017. This year she is running for office. Photo courtesy of VoteRunLead.

In 2017, the program trained more than 300 women from more than fifteen states. Since its inception in 2011, Plate to Politics has impacted more than 1,100 women through in-person workshops and produced a series of 11 webinars featuring nationally recognized women leaders, watched by more than 1,000 people to date. Consistently, more than 75 percent of women who have attended a Plate to Politics training say they are more likely to run for office as a result of the training.

“There are many more stories and no matter what happens on election day, we consider these women success stories,” said Bruxvoort.

2019 is shaping up to be an even bigger year for the program as more women complete their races, share their stories, and inspire others to run. Plate to Politics will kick off the new year at the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group conference in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Support from Rachel’s Network Helps Program Grow

The Plate to Politics program is strengthened through our partnership with Rachel’s Network.

Thanks to generous funding from Rachel’s Network, WFAN continues to expand the Plate to Politics program to new states. The final training for 2018 will take place at Stepping Into Action: WFAN’s 2018 annual conference in Des Moines, Iowa, on November 2. Registration for this workshop is still open here.

Certified Vote Run Lead trainer Kristen Foster will lead the training. Born and raised in the Arkansas River Valley, Foster is the co-founder and Executive Director of River Valley Food 4 Kids, a nonprofit organization focused on ending child hunger & generational poverty on the local level. With over 10 years of nonprofit leadership, Kristin has a wide range of experience in strategic planning, fundraising, program development, and public relations. Through her work as an activist and community organizer, Kristin has also gained valuable experience in managing local and state level political campaigns.

Interested in hosting a workshop in your community or sponsoring Plate to Politics to help us grow? Contact Ash Bruxvoort at

PO Box 611
Ames, IA 50010
Phone: (515) 460-2477