Women in Agriculture

My mom was a preacher’s kid. She grew up on the coast and spent lots of time scalloping, floundering and generally enjoying the salt water and sand dunes that used to dance across the Emerald Coast.

My dad on the other hand was a farm kid with a flair for poetry. He helped with harvest, worked cows, drove an orange Nova and wore funky patterned shirts like this one.

Mom and Dad

My dear parent's engagement picture.

(By the way Pops, growing up in the 70s was no excuse for funky shirts! Sorry!)

My dad doesn’t mind helping out on the farm, he works in the public sector now and while he doesn’t mind lending a hand when it’s needed, he’d rather spend his time doing something else. Like watching football or working with wood or reading a good book. That’s just Pops—and I love him that way.

Mom on the other hand—is very involved. Last year, Pa decided to sell his cattle herd. Mom and I bought two heifers and a cow/calf pair.

She was happier than a pyro with matches.

I’m proud to report that after a year Mom is a superb cattlewoman, not that she wasn’t in the first place, but the anniversary of the purchase just brightens the point.

Mom and Pa

Mom and Pa chatting.

Mom knew about cattle before our investment, she had spent hours with me in high school chasing show steers, but to finally have a herd of her own—she was just tickled pink! (and with the addition of Jared’s cows to the pasture, she has definitely got her hands full during the week while we are at school!)

Seeing my mom more involved in agriculture makes me happy. It assures me that what the USDA says about women as primary farm operators is true (See 2007 Census of Agriculture) and that is a change that has been a long time coming.

A lot of folks are still old school and are still resistant to women becoming more involved in the “big” decisions that happen on a farm, but that is changing. Today I am thankful for people, like my folks, who understand women can love the land just as much as the next guy. Thankful for folks that understand women are competent in making farm decisions (whether they want to or not depends on the person) and that women have a place, outside of the kitchen, on the family farm too.

And that’s it… I’m off my feminist soapbox! (I can hear all of you sighing with relief!) Happy trails my friends!

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3 thoughts on “Women in Agriculture

  1. Compliments to your mom! I grew up an a small family operated dairy farm and got out of the industry for a long time. After being diagnosed with MS and evaluting what was important to me and what wasn’t…I got back into have animals and raising things here on our farm for our own purposes.
    Caring for the animals gives me something to look forward to everyday…to me, it isn’t a chore or a duty but something that truly provides me with a calm, peaceful environment! I agree that there are some that are still a little too “old school” and think its a man’s job. I think that women are better suited because of their caring and nurturing nature! 🙂

    • I’ll pass them along to her! She loves it too, especially after a long day at work. She’s excited that Jared is going to teach her to break land this spring. Not exactly the same as caring for the cows but at least she’s getting her feet wet in the agronomic side. Thanks for the comment–I look forward to checking our your blog!

  2. My blog isn’t much…but I love being able to share the good, bad and the ugly of farming. It is nice to have this venue to coordinate with other women out there in the world.

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