I’ve been a little MIA from my blog. (When I say a little, I think it’s been 6 months since I’ve shared anything.) It’s not because I up and decided to stop blogging, it’s because I have since become a part of something that I absolutely love, and it has taken a lot of time.
On November 13, 250 women came together in the state of Iowa to inform and inspire each other about opportunities in agriculture. The day consisted of brilliant speakers, including Iowa Secretary of Agriculture, Bill Northey; FSA Chief of Staff, Lesly Weber-McNitt; Dean of the ISU College of Agriculture, Wendy Wintersteen; Iowa FFA Leadership Development Manager, Rachel Kagay; and Iowa’s Lieutenant Governor, Kim Reynolds. The breakout sessions and professional luncheon were filled with knowledgeable and strong women that shared their passion with others. It was amazing to see this many people come together and truly be excited about something: the future.
This all happened because of my time with FarmHer. FarmHer is a business that focuses on imagery, community, and merchandise. FarmHer was started after the famous Super Bowl commercial “God Made a Farmer” when almost 60 men are shown and less than 6 women. Women do not come to mind when most people picture farming, and that’s now changing. My boss Marji has been to over 100 farms photographing women working on the farm.
I learned a lot at this conference, and one thing that I was reminded is to not let negative comments bother you. If it’s someone saying that you can’t do something or if it’s one comment on social media that is pointed towards your beliefs, just let it go. Then why, after the event had so many positive posts, did I let one comment bother me?
Because I realized people thought I was putting men down. Because people don’t understand the meaning of FarmHer and why I poured my heart and soul into a one day event.
Here is a public service announcement: I don’t hate men. FarmHers don’t hate men. I don’t hate men farming and I think men farming are important. (My boyfriend and dad and both grandpa’s are full time farmers, and I love them.) Everyone being allowed to farm is important.
Here’s another one for you: FarmHer isn’t against men. I have had the opportunity to spend time with the founder of FarmHer and I have never heard the words “men do not belong” come out of her mouth. In fact, she photographs men! To her, it’s important to show what isn’t commonly shown, and that’s the women.
To all the men that think FarmHer is a joke, has someone ever told you that you shouldn’t be a part of something? It amazed me how many people, young and more mature, sat in the room during #Grow15 and could remember when someone once told them they couldn’t be in agriculture because they are a girl. I feel very fortunate that those men in my life do nothing but support me and my sisters in our endeavors in the agriculture industry. But even in this day and age when glass ceilings are being broken, not everyone has that support.
That’s why Grow by Future FarmHer happened! Nothing is more powerful than a lot of voices. Nothing happens without action, so we took action! The attendees networked, met amazing and inspiring people, and will hopefully do something to better the world.
To me, FarmHer isn’t about putting anyone down; it’s about lifting everyone up. We are all stronger when we work together. I ask that FarmHer’s are supported and in return, everyone in agriculture will be supported.