Rick Waitley is president of Association Management Group, a firm that handles association management, legislative lobbying and event planning for nearly 40 agriculture organizations in Idaho, the Northwest and across the United States. He has also been a registered lobbyist in Idaho since 1978, during which time he has organized weekly meetings of agriculture lobbyist during the legislative session to discuss public policy issues. This collaboration has accomplished a great deal for the agriculture industry.
Through the volume and variety of agriculture affiliated clients Rick serves, he has also been a tremendous advocate and innovator for agriculture in Idaho. He worked with Food Producers of Idaho to create the Idaho Ag Pavilion, which houses extensive displays and booths designed to educate the public about the importance of agriculture in Idaho and throughout the U.S. The Pavilion travels annually to state and regional fairs around Idaho with Rick and his wife, Dorita, coordinating every detail at each event (in their "spare" time).
“We have invested many resources into improving grower organizations and commodity groups to better serve their members,” says Rick. “We believe that investing in the behind the scenes activities on behalf of an industry or commodity group allows them to continue to do what they enjoy doing – raising a variety of commodities.”
Rick has also helped establish a number of agriculture organizations over the years, helping them to get a start on behalf of the industry sectors and members they represent. For example, the National Agriculture in the Classroom Organization hired him as their first part-time executive director, a position he held for six years while helping the organization coordinate, organize and build a quality organization on behalf of AITC programs in all 50 states.
For decades, he has been a staunch supporter of the Leadership Idaho Agriculture Program, playing a significant role in educating next generation agricultural leaders in public policy, public speaking skills and a wide variety of issues that impact agriculture in Idaho and across the nation.
“The industry of agriculture is fascinating and changing every year, and there will be new challenges as we look towards feeding a growing population,” says Rick. “Overcoming new challenges in environmental issues, technology, production results and management will be necessary to maintain a cutting edge in the industry.”
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