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February 9 - March 9, 2021
State Director, Idaho Agriculture in the Classroom
Rick Waitley is a private consultant and lobbyist and serves as president of Association Management Group. The firm represents different agricultural commissions and associations. Waitley has been a lobbyist since 1977 and represents many of the clients on legislative issues. Waitley graduated from the University of Idaho with a degree in agriculture education. He taught high school agriculture for a few years before joining the staff of the National FFA in Virginia. Waitley returned to Idaho and started lobbying for Idaho Dairymen's Association. In 1993, he established Association Management Group. In 2016, Rick was among 100 visionaries nationally recognized by Farm Credit for helping define the future of rural communities and agriculture. Selected as a Farm Credit 100 Fresh Perspectives honoree, Waitley was named a top ag leader in Rural Policy Influence.
State Coordinator, Project Learning Tree
Michelle Youngquist is the Education Program Manager for the Idaho Forest Products Commission and state coordinator for Project Learning Tree, where she has served since 1994. She earned an M.S. in Natural Resources from The University of Michigan, and a B.A. in Biology and Secondary Education at Augustana College in South Dakota. She has taught 7th-12th grade public school science, taught field science to students of all ages at Keystone Science School in Colorado, and worked as a naturalist at both state and national parks. Youngquist has designed and led numerous development courses for educators. She enjoys the scents of hot ponderosa pine forests and cottonwoods after a rain.
Executive Director, Idaho Rangeland Resources Commission
Gretchen Hyde grew up on a family farm and ranch north of Emmett enjoying the rangelands of southern Idaho. Gretchen graduated from BSU with a BBA in Accounting and University of Idaho with a masters in Adult Organizational Learning and Leadership. She worked at Agri Beef Co. as the Controller of the Livestock Division prior to becoming the first executive director for the Idaho Rangeland Resources Commission in 1997. The IRRC was awarded the 2019 BLM National Sagebrush Steppe Stewardship award for their work in education and outreach campaigns including the Life on the Range series and the I ROAM educational trailer and curriculum. Gretchen enjoys gardening, riding horses, hiking, and the great outdoors of Idaho.