American Agri-Women honored South Dakota Senator John Thune with the 2013 Champion of Agriculture Award during their annual legislative Fly-In trip to Washington, D.C. The group says Thune is a strong advocate for issues that are vital to American food security and for sustaining farming communities. Also saying, Thune has been a watchdog for the welfare of rural communities through active support and sponsorship of important bills to agriculture. AAW President Karen Yost says Thune has provided leadership and direction for agriculture in the nation’s capital. Because there are so few in Washington with a first-hand knowledge of the industry they regulate - Yost says it’s imperative that those who know and understand the rural community be active evangelists for the lifestyle. She says Thune has made a courageous effort to lead positive conversations for families in agriculture.