In light of an article that was sent to me a few weeks back I wanted to address the topic..
Over 98% of farms are family owned…often with generations farming with one another. So somewhere amidst that family farm I am going to bet there is a woman. Right?
Granted, I will give in to this specific article and say that yes women do not sit on the top five commodity national boards (These are basically National Corn, Soybean, Cotton, Rice, and Wheat).
But, did anyone think to ask us whether or not we have any desire to sit on those boards?
Or better yet the fact that there is more to agriculture than just those five commodity boards?
Women in agriculture may not be on the forefront of agriculture- but trust me we are totally there. Matter of fact I don’t think I have ever met a harder working woman in agriculture than my mother in law
What I have come to conclude on a few things could be potential reasons for why you don’t see women in the forefront of agriculture:
Someone has to take care of those kids. (Meaning: School, day care, extra curricular activities, religion class, doctors appointments, etc.)
Bookwork (A huge part of farming- around our farm we share the responsibility with the guys pitching in periodically.)
Parts (It’s amazing how many parts you order every single day when you are a farmer- and what’s more amazing is how someone needs to make the trip to town to get them constantly…)
Town jobs In some cases farming won’t pay the bills. Or, how about that pesky health insurance (I can tell you from personal experience that if you are paying for it solely on your own it’s a pretty big chunk of change. Now picture adding a house full of kids to that payment)
I know there are a lot more reasons that I am not including here, but I wanted to just highlight a few that hit pretty hard with me. I see my sister in laws working their tails off around our farm and my mother in law who has worked for years on the farm doing it all from raising kids to hauling silage.
We are very much a part of agriculture! We haul silage, check cows, pull calves, feed cattle, feed bottle calves, run combines, run grain carts, haul grain, rake hay, bale hay, stack hay, run parts, clean windows on equipment, clean the shop, mow grass, fix fences, fix gates…Do I really need to go on?