EASTON, Maine — For the last month, American Agri-Women has been celebrating 40 years of advocating for agriculture with its “Drive Across America.” AAW is the nation’s largest coalition of farm, ranch and agri-business women. So far, the Drive has traveled to events in Maine, New York, Washington, D.C., West Virginia, North Carolina, Kentucky, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota.

The 5-month educational and advocacy tour kicked off on June 3 at McCain Foods USA’s plant in Easton, Maine. McCaine Foods, a major sponsor of the Drive, processes potatoes from family farmers throughout North America.

“I’m so pleased for the opportunity to kick off our event at McCain Foods, a company my family has been doing business with for generations. All of us in AAW are looking forward to meeting our members nationwide as well as consumers and sharing stories about our abundant, safe and affordable food, fiber and fuel supply,” says Sue McCrum, AAW president. “More than ever, consumers are seeking connections to those who produce the food and products they use every day. Our Drive Across America is a tremendous opportunity for those of us in agriculture — and women in agriculture — to make those connections in person.”

Lynn Woolf, who serves as AAW’s vice president of communications and is also the managing editor of Rural Lifestyle Dealer, says in addition to celebrating the organization’s 40th anniversary the Drive is a way to recognize and honor the important role women play in American agriculture, develop a stronger network between American agriculturists and consumers and highlight the exceptional agricultural, food and fiber system in the U.S.

She adds that the event will plant the future of agriculture by bringing people together to support and promote agriculture and to rise to AAW’s “Planting Our Future” challenge.

McCrum and other leaders will drive in a specially wrapped pick-up truck, participating in educational, network and advocacy events hosted by AAW’s more than 50 affiliates. The Drive will finish at the 2015 annual convention in Portland, Maine.

“Watch for our pickup on America’s highways, interstates, city streets and backroads. And, join in on our drive to celebrate AAW and American agriculture,” says McCrum.