Did you know….MARCH is “Women’s History Month” which highlights the contributions of women to events in history and contemporary society.
We wanted to highlight AAAS FIRST Woman President.
CHARLOTTE ROUSE from Stettler District Agricultural Society
President: 1992 -1994
Past President: 1994 – 1996
1st Vice President 1991 – 1992
Region 3 Director: 1990 – 1996
” It was exciting and progressive times when I had the honor of being President of AAAS from 1992 – 1994 . Ag societies in Alberta were actively involved in their communities. Constantly exploring and experimenting with new and innovative ideas and solutions made ag societies active participants in the growth of their boards and societies and provided agricultural leadership for their communities. My education was in journalism and advertising and over the years this allowed me to secure some exciting positions. I come from an agricultural background and for many years enjoyed the country lifestyle with my husband and children.
My roots in ag societies began in 1984 when I was hired by the Stettler Ag Society. I continued to manage the Stettler Ag Society through the eighties. In 1990 I was elected to the board of AAAS. Among my favorite memories of AAAS days was the diversity and magnitude of the membership and direction of the provincial society for small and large associations and the sharing of ideas and working together.
HIGHLIGHTS OF WORKING WITH AAAS:
*Along with the executive, a Five Year Business Plan for the Society was built. The objective of the plan was to access and provide future direction for AAAS and the membership by developing a road map for the next five years. It was determined that the plan needed to encompass objectives and action plans to achieve those objectives. The number one objective is for AAAS to act as ambassadors of the agricultural industry.
Towards this end a Procedures Manual was developed to provide the office with an accounting of office procedures, materials available and location of same. The purpose was that any director throughout the province could access any head office information they may require to complete their representation on the board.
An Economic Impact Study was conducted during this time to determine the economic and social impact of Agricultural Societies with the assistance of a professional consultant. It was determined that Ag Societies provided their communities and memberships with valuable leadership and information. A Mission Statement for AAAS was established:
To enhance the view of agriculture and preserve the quality of life in Alberta, by representing and responding to the needs and interest of Agricultural Societies
*service to members
*working for the common goals of the membership
A Major Fairs and Exhibitions Committee of Alberta was formed and chaired by AAAS. The objective was to have the majors share their expertise in knowledge, services and materials. Edmonton, Calgary, Grand Prairie, Lloydminster, Camrose, Medicine Hat, and Red Deer all agreed to become part of what was known as the Central Registry. This Registry would meet and share their individual direction, innovative ideas and equipment with each other and this Registry was provided to other Ag Societies in their regions.
AAAS also handled the administration of Federal Funding, working in calibration with the Federal and Provincial Governments, including Alberta Agriculture and Lotteries.
During my time with AAAS, I enjoyed the interaction of all the societies from small to large and the close working relationship with Alberta Agriculture and their representatives.
Always a highlight for me was the yearly conventions held throughout the province, where different communities hosted and showcased their area. This included conventions in Grand Prairie, Edmonton, Calgary, Lloydminster, Medicine Hat, Red Deer and Lethbridge.
Everyone of these conventions provided amazing insight and direction for the AAAS membership.
Another highlight was being selected as a delegate to attend the National Convention for Fairs and Exhibition in Las Vegas. It was an outstanding 10 days of learning and sharing.
I was also fortunate to attend other Fairs and Exhibitions in Vancouver, Saskatoon, Regina and London, Ontario. In addition travelled to many Fairs and Exhibitions across Alberta.
Following my time with AAAS, I went on to be employed with Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission for 17 years as a senior operator. Consequently, I continued my association with Fairs and Exhibitions in a different way dealing with casino and VLT sites.
In 2015, I decided to retire. I now share my time partially at the West Coast and partially in Alberta enjoying my family, gardening and writing.
My time with AAAS was very rewarding and would encourage the membership to become active with the Association. Many voices and actions add to the success of the whole. Thank you for the ride and wish the association a successful next 75 years.”