Awards and Recognition

All applications now open!

2019 Award Information

  • Applications Open: February 15, 2019

  • Applications Close: April 1, 2019

  • Awards Recipients Notified: May 1, 2019

  • Award Recipients Registered for Summit by: May 15, 2019

  • Awards Gala: Friday, June 21st, 2019 | Des Moines, IA at the Cultivating Change Summit

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.


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.

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.

2018 recipient

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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.

2018 recipients

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Stacy Bushgen

Executive Assistant, Rice Growers Association

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Tino Rossi

Strategic Political Consulting & Public Affairs

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Katherine Soule

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

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Meghan Walter

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