Awards and Recognition

Agriculture Influencer Award

The Agriculture Influencer Awards honors great agriculture companies and organizations who are committed to impacting the agriculture industry through intentional diversity and inclusion efforts and for their support of LGBTQ+ agriculturists. The Agriculture Influencer Award recognizes those who support the Cultivating Change Foundation and Summit through sponsorship, engagement, and promotion of the Cultivating Change Foundation.


2019 Recipient



2018 recipients



2017 Recipient


Cultivator of Change Award

The Cultivator of Change Award recognizes an individual who has played a pivotal role in championing visibility and voice for the LGBT community within the agriculture industry, has shown a commitment to LGBT agriculturists, and will use their talents to further the cause of celebrating agriculture and celebrating people.

2019 Recipient


Mark Poeschl

Chief Executive Officer at National FFA Organization

2018 Recipient


Ellen Thompson

National Teach Ag Campaign Director for the National Association of Agricultural Educators

2017 Recipient

Secretary Karen Ross, CDFA

Secretary Karen Ross

California Department of Food and Agriculture

VIP Student Scholarship Recipient

The VIP Student Scholarships of the Cultivating Change Summit are awarded to collegiate students, majoring in an agriculture-related field. VIP Scholars are provided an All-Access Pass to the Summit experience with specific opportunities to network with VIP stakeholders.


2019 Recipient


Kurtis Miller

Penn State University

2018 recipient


Coleman Simpson

North Carolina State University


Cultivating Change Ally Award

The Ally Award recognizes an ally of the LGBTQ+ community who works to advance the perceptions of LGBTQ+ individuals in agriculture. Recipients of this award have been nominated by an individual(s) in the community who see the value, drive, and hard work of the individual’s efforts in their everyday life.

Allies are not just someone who accepts LGBTQ+ people, but supports equal civil rights, gender equality, LGBT social movements, and challenges homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia. The selected individual utilizes their position of leadership to contribute and strengthen the LGBTQ+ community.


2019 Recipient


Director of Communications & Marketing at Agricultural Retailers Association


2018 recipients

Headshots Deck 2 (2).png

Stacy Bushgen

Executive Assistant, Rice Growers Association

Headshots Deck 2.png

Tino Rossi

Strategic Political Consulting & Public Affairs

Headshots Deck 2 (1).png

Katherine Soule

Director of UC Cooperative Extension & Youth, Families, & Communities Advisor in San Luis Obispo & Santa Barbara Counties

Headshots Deck.png

Meghan Walter

State Hydraulic Engineer for the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)
in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)