Many thanks for your interest in the American Agricultural Editors’ Association.

As a member of AAEA, you’ll benefit from networking opportunities with writers, editors, photographers and other communications professionals across the U.S. and Canada. Members keep up with colleagues and industry trends by reading The ByLine, the official association newsletter published nine times per year. And winners in our writing, design and photo award contests receive constructive criticism from their peers in the agricultural field and industry acclaim.

The benefit members consistently rank the highest is professional improvement, and at AAEA, that’s what we’re all about. From our annual Agricultural Media Summit to our regional meetings and webinars, you’ll have access to a host of professional improvement workshops and seminars. The Ag Media Summit is a joint meeting of AAEA, the Livestock Publications Council, and the ABM Agri-Council. The 2012 Summit will be in Albuquerque, NM, on August 5-8. Go to for updated information.

We encourage you to look at our membership qualifications to find out more about the types of memberships that we offer and our dues. Then, print out a membership application form and send it in with your membership dues. If you would like to make an online payment, click here. It’s that simple.

New Member Application Form
Membership Renewal Form

But don’t just take our word for it. Members have shared what AAEA means to them — enjoy reading these thoughts, and think about joining this valuable organization!

Steve Fairchild, Editor
For me, AAEA has a foundation in professional improvement. That’s why I joined the association. Over the years, through contests, regional meetings, webinars and the Agricultural Media Summit, I’ve gleaned information that makes me a more informed and, I hope, better writer. Associating with such a diverse group of ag writers, photographers, designers and PR folks has given me better insight into the industry—something that can only be gained through the kind of vocational networking an association like AAEA affords. But now that I’ve progressed to the point I can measure my career in decades, AAEA has come to mean much more than professional improvement and networking. The friendships I’ve developed and fostered through AAEA are reward enough for having been a member.

Betsy Freese, Editor
I have worked on almost every committee in AAEA and enjoyed them all. But what I really love are the people, the MEMBERS, the interaction. We debate, we decide, we take action. We have fun. Being a member of Ag Editors’ has been a huge part of my career.

Steve Werblow, Freelancer
Membership in AAEA has offered a world of professional improvement opportunities through the Ag Media Summit and the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists, introduced me to great friends, and opened the doors to most of the work I do as a freelancer in the ag industry.  It’s been an invaluable business investment and a delightful social network – a big part of my world.

Chris McClintic, Editor/Photographer
My AAEA membership has proven invaluable to me over the years both professionally and personally! Why, I met the love of my life at an AAEA meeting nearly 20 years ago!

Lyle Orwig, Marketing Communications
AAEA membership represents my circle of friends in agriculture.  Many whom I’ve learned from, laughed with and stood by during the good and bad times.  While AAEA is known as a professional organization of editors and associates…it is really just friends with the same passion…agriculture.

Karlie Elliott Bowman, Marketing Communications
AAEA is a very welcoming organization. It is wonderful to find an organization that welcomes students and current professionals so openly. I am extremely grateful too for the warm welcome to AAEA I received from members (I received a couple welcome emails once I joined, which was very nice).Because of my involvement in AAEA, I was also able to be involved with IFAJ. Through IFAJ I have learned more about international ag journalism and greatly improved my writing skills as their newsletter editor.

I look forward to being more involved with the organization and encouraging more current agricultural communications students to get involved.

Tom Dodge, Freelancer
I was an ardent member of AAEA until 10 years ago when I went to the construction industry. This past year I started freelancing again with the ag publications and rejoined AAEA. I believe whole-heartedly in AAEA. I can’t imagine being an agricultural journalist and not belonging to AAEA. Some of my dearest friendships and best professional contacts have happened through AAEA. I love the direction you have taken the programs. Judging by the St. Paul conference, it is so professional and rich…and better than ever. Keep up the important, great work!

Mindy Williamson, Communications
The value of AAEA membership to me means, great friendships, networking, and professional development opportunities in an ever shrinking ag communications world.

Kenna Rathai, Freelancer/PR Consultant
As a freelancer and PR consultant, I can’t even put a price on the value of the relationships I have built with our active members – the connections I have made are priceless.

Jack Pitzer, Former Editor
AAEA was a major power source for my editorial career and a great opportunity for providing leadership and getting involved in my own professional organization.  Certainly the friendships made over all these years are my most treasured benefits of belonging to AAEA. It was also fun to help younger editors grow as leaders in agriculture through AAEA.

Cynthia Clanton, Public Relations
We all work together to achieve our shared goals. Many members shift from active to affiliate status or vice versa during their careers — sometimes more than once. AAEA provides great opportunities to share ideas and approaches with all types of ag communicators. Getting involved and meeting other members is a wonderful way to gain knowledge about the breadth of U.S. and global agriculture, to explore new ways to communicate effectively, and to build relationships with communicators of all ages, from students to those who have worked in ag communications for decades.

Lucy Whitehead, Public Relations
The value for the National FFA Alumni is being connected to a variety of different sources and for me personally the network and connections I make is invaluable. The resources available to members and information provided helps me stay at the top of my game.

Harlen Persinger, Photojournalist
My roots in AAEA began in 1976 and I’ve been fortunate to attend every national annual meeting since then. Through those years, I’ve banked a reservoir of experiences. Participating in photo contests, seminars and workshops, along with a few extra curricular activities, allowed me to punch a first class ticket to enter the fast-paced, ever changing world of agricultural journalism. The payoff resulted in building bridges with blue-chip folks, life-long friendships and working in all channels of this profession.

I also discovered the framework of AAEA, when tag-teamed with IFAJ, literally opened the door to a complex and more diverse world. By traveling abroad, I was able to glean knowledge about other people and how diverse cultures impact global agriculture.

With AAEA, you will always cherish that pat on the back, remember the gleam in an award winner’s eye and savor a thumbs-up for a job well done. My journey has been one of pure fun, passion, appreciation and truly a purple ribbon experience.

Elaine Shein, Editor
Membership in AAEA greatly influenced my career, leading directly to relationships that led me to my current job, as well as some of my closest friends. AAEA’s professional development and discussions related to agriculture and journalism have been beneficial as well as inspirational, and I would strongly recommend others join AAEA, become involved with its committees and attend the Ag Media Summit.

Amanda Bergstrom, ACT Student
Membership Value: “Being a member of AAEA has been influential and valuable both to myself and my university club through both connections and professional development. As university students looking towards future job possibilities, having the AAEA network of professionals available to us has given us multiple opportunities within the professional world of journalism and communications.”

Greg Horstmeier, Editor
AAEA has been an important part of my professional life since my first meeting as a college junior. First and foremost, it is my touchstone with the agricultural media world outside my office desk. AAEA has always been about collegial competition and all that entails: sharing experiences, yet keeping each other honest; pushing our boundaries of professionalism while recognizing the talents of our peers. It is what I think a professional organization should strive to be, a constant prodder to its members to be better while also supplying a foundation for building lifelong professional friendships.

Greg Lamp, Editor
I’m proud to be an AAEA member and join the ranks of other ag writers who help provide farmers and ranchers relevant information to be more productive and profitable. Since forming AMS, I don’t know where an ag communicator would go to get better and more cost-effective programming than what we have during the annual meeting. And besides, at AMS you get to mingle with some of the best and brightest journalists you’ll ever meet.

Kurt Lawton, Editor
AAEA is truly an amazing collection of many talented and creative fun people. If you love agriculture, want to network and learn with the best writers/editors/photographers and PR pros, there is no better association on the planet. I’ve been a member for most of my 30 years in the biz, and I absolutely love giving back to an organization that has expanded my professional and personal worth. As a past board member, and a member of so many committees I’ve lost count, the experience one gains and the friendships one builds are immeasurable. AAEA will always be a great group of kindred souls in agriculture that I treasure.

Christy Couch Lee, Freelance PR/Photographer
As the owner of a communications firm, my AAEA membership is invaluable for the connections, networking and professional development. I firmly believe my membership in this great organization has led to amazing client relationships that would not have existed, if not for AAEA.

Fred Myers, Public Relations
No agricultural communicator can act only by, for or within themselves. Aside from matters concerned with their employment, they must be responsible for their personal and professional growth. I discovered the AAEA immediately after becoming an ag journalist. It quickly became a vital companion, a source of learning, an avenue for becoming inspired, a stimulant for greater creativity and a way to discover and explore how best to take advantage of my talents. AAEA members also have many opportunities for developing and sharpening leadership qualities while working with others to strengthen both the association and the profession.

Then there is the camaraderie, that wonderful yet almost undefinable quality all of us enjoy and look for when we want or need help. As the old saying goes, that alone is well worth the price of admission.

Now you know why I’ve been an AAEA member for 50 years and have been willing to serve on more than 60 committees. Even then, all I have contributed has yet to equal the value of the benefits I have received as a member.

Jim Patrico, Editor
AAEA is home base for my professional life. It’s a place where, like Cheers, everybody knows your name.

Julia Fritsch, Marketing Communications
Without my membership in AAEA, I would have no connection to other professionals in agricultural communications. Just knowing that there are other professionals out there who face the same challenges, cater to the same audiences, and are working toward goals similar to mine gives me a boost when I run into difficult spots. The tips and tidbits I’ve picked up through the ByLine and by attending a Regional workshop last year have been invaluable. I can’t wait to attend my first conference in New Orleans this summer!

Rich Jefferson, Public Relations
At how many other professional meetings can you get so much accomplished while having such a great time? AAEA provides a forum where leading Ag communicators gather to recharge, network, and encourage each other. When you’re looking for a high concentration of folks in print ag media, the annual Ag Media Summit is a critical one-stop resource for numerous planned meetings. But remember not to pack your schedule too tightly; you’ll need time for those energizing spontaneous encounters with old acquaintances that always occur at the summit.

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