Editor’s note: This article is the next in a series of articles featuring the leaders of the Association of Women in Agriculture Benefit Corporation.
“I like working with numbers,” Jaime Sawle says.
That’s why Kylene Anderson reached out to Sawle, asking her to consider being a treasurer.
Anderson is a former treasurer of the Association of Women in Agriculture Benefit Corporation; the organization needed someone new.
Sawle has now served two years as the association’s treasurer.
“Jaime was the treasurer of our student chapter and did a fantastic job,” Anderson said. “She’s very responsible and detail-oriented. She also was in that sweet spot between graduating and being an alumni member of our association so I nominated her.”
Sawle also had financial experience, having earned a degree in agricultural business at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Since serving as treasurer Sawle said she’s learned more about taxes and how to read financial statements. She’s also developed other real-world financial skills.
One of the most rewarding aspects of being an association member is helping to provide affordable campus housing for young women pursuing agricultural studies at UW-Madison, she said. While most of its revenues are derived from rent, the association has held rental rates steady and has invested in improvements to the house.
Sawle joined the student chapter – the Association of Women in Agriculture – her freshman year at UW-Madison. She lived at the organization’s house during her sophomore year. There are many benefits of belonging to both the student chapter and the alumni association – such as developing friendships, receiving mentoring and learning about career opportunities, she said.
Sawle was raised on an 80-acre hobby farm near Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin. Her parents, Jon and Jennifer Sawle, raised a small herd of Scottish Highland cattle. Jaime Sawle showed those cattle as well as dairy steers as a member of the Prairie Busy Badgers 4-H Club. She also was a member of the Sauk Prairie FFA.
“Jaime loved educating the public about the unique Scottish Highland breed at the Sauk County Fair when she was a 4-H member,” said Sandy Miskowiak-Larsen, leader of the Prairie Busy Badgers 4-H Club. “She was a Sauk County 4-H ambassador and her involvement was a stepping stone for other great things she’s done. She’s a voice for the agriculture industry. She has a positive attitude and is open to increasing her knowledge of the industry through opportunities that come her way. I look forward to seeing all the amazing things this innovative young woman will bring to the agriculture industry.”
Sawle’s parents, Jon and Jennifer Sawle, are graduates of UW-Madison’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. He has a degree in meat and animal science, and she has a degree in agronomy. She also was a member of the Association of Women in Agriculture when she was a student.
“We share our (association) memories,” Jaime Sawle said with a smile.
After graduating from UW-Madison, Jaime Sawle worked as a marketing associate for the Filament marketing-communications firm, and then worked as a marketing coordinator for the Experimental Aircraft Association. She recently became a digital associate for MorganMyers, an agricultural- and food-chain-communication firm. She also serves on the board of the Winnebago County Farm Bureau and was a member of the 2013 Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation Leadership Class.
She offers a few words of advice to other young women beginning their careers in agriculture.
“Don’t be afraid to make changes in your career path,” she said. “Sometimes it can be uncomfortable, but it allowed me to grow. I also remember what my dad told me — ‘Do something you’re good at and what you’re passionate about.’”
The Association of Women in Agriculture Benefit Corporation’s mission is to advance the education of women in agriculture. The organization also supports the student chapter of the Association of Women in Agriculture at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Visit awamadison.org for more information.