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Women In Agriculture

May 6, 2013

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAToday’s agriculture is in many ways a pass or fail business. It doesn’t matter what skin color or size someone is – it’s how can you get the job done. In many ways, however, there are things that can bother women agnerds that you might not consider.

And it would pay to consider! Especially for the sales folks trying to sell to the farm, or the reporter wanting to talk to the owner (’cause that 5 foot something gal can’t be the owner!).

There’s those who walk up to that owner and demand to deal with her husband. They may not get a welcoming response! Increasingly women aren’t the wife or daughter or employee but the management or owner!

Entertainer Reba has an idea of the mindset!

I think women have a tougher time with anything! Not only in music. We’ve come a long way, and we’ve got a longer way to work on it. I came from a man’s world, working on a working cattle ranch when I grew up. Then when I came in the music business, I just new I had to work harder. That’s just the way it is. I don’t bitch about it, I just go do the work harder, and hopefully it pays off.

The idea that it’s only recently that women have shouldered the responsibility, however, is inaccurate. A century ago women not only ran the house (from laundry to meals to cleaning!) but kept the garden, chickens for eggs and meat, usually cared for and milked the cow and turned those milk, eggs and produce into meals. She also had to preserve food for the off season.

Today’s ag women are more visible in organizations and in the media, but there is no preferential treatment. In the ag world, an angry heifer will run over a woman as quickly as a man – there’s no discrimination!

Sometimes that means working smarter, not harder. As more consumers seek out and talk with farmers and processors, don’t make the same mistake of thinking it’s the men that keep things going.

Women have filled that role for years, often behind the scenes! They ran for parts, kept the meals up, handled the kids, and now are as likely to be the ones in the tractor as the ones making meals!

As we approach mother’s day, my mom is no longer here, but modeled that if you wanted to do something no one could stop you. The farm wasn’t her comfort zone, but she liked many things about it.

No doubt about it – women have always been a part of agriculture!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 7, 2013 1:54 PM

    Great quote from Reba! Women in my family have always worked alongside the men, and it is important for people to know the major role that women play in American agriculture.

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