“I was taught a work ethic. I learned that sometimes what we wanted to do had to wait until the things we had to do got done, I learned things did not always work out like we planned, but I also learned that they did too. I learned it was important to take pride in and have passion for your work. I learned it was okay to think outside the box. I learned to never settle, always strive to do your best and keep pushing to make your best better.” -Sarah Carte, Live Oak, Florida on how agriculture has shaped her life.
A fifth-generation Florida farmer, Sarah Carte lives in her hometown of Live Oak, Florida. We first connected years ago via our blogs. A beef and peanut farmer with her husband, William and working alongside her dad in their seed processing and hydroponic farm, I was in awe of connecting with a north Florida farmer like Sarah. I have traveled to Florida many times for warm vacations, away from the frozen tundra of winter on the North Dakota prairie. But never once before connecting with Sarah I had known or even really thought of farmers outside of orange farmers. Orange farmers that make orange juice and advertise a lot!
In January 2013, Sarah and I met in “real life” at the American Farm Bureau Federation I was guest blogging (read about it on the link) and speaking on a social media panel (that was a lot of fun with great friends.) Sarah invited me to women’s leadership luncheon and to sit at their Florida Women’s Leadership Committee’s table. I was honored. They were all sincere Southern ladies, each with diverse backgrounds. Like this Women in Agriculture series, each woman had their own unique stories from growing watermelons, peanuts and Happiness Farm’s Caladiums. But at the heart of every story is that each woman does the best they can for their families and farms. They all want to connect non-ag consumers to know their families, farms and farming practices. They want to build trust in America’s food system. And they were all taking time away from their families and farms to be at the national Farm Bureau meeting. Their commitment and passion for agriculture was clear through their words and stories.
What I know now is that it doesn’t matter if Sarah is from Florida and I am from North Dakota. We share connections around family, farming and food. We have similar goals and dreams for our families and farms. We don’t do it the same way. We don’t farm the same crops. But we make up the same fabric of American farming and ranching. It makes me proud as a fifth generation North Dakota farm girl to know and connect with a fifth generation farmer from Florida. And someday, I am taking an extra day or two in Florida to drive north from a Disney vacation to spend time with Sarah and her family on their farm.
Meet Sarah Carte, below in her own words and connect with her on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. Together she and her husband, William are raising up the sixth generation of farmers with daughters Maddie and Lindsleigh. Whether you are from a farm or city born and raised, you will connect to Sarah’s words of insight and experiences.
After graduating from the University of Florida in 2000 and marrying my husband William, I came back to my hometown to live on his family’s farm. I picked back up where I left off before I went to college and started working my dad again at our small grain seed processing plant and with the growing and shipping of herbs from our hydroponic greenhouses.
It has been a dream come true to grow and build on both farms over the last 14 years. I also enjoy being active in county and state Farm Bureau. I’m blessed to serve as Vice-chair of the Florida Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee. I enjoy meeting, talking and building wonderful friendships with other women in agriculture from across the state and nation.
How has agriculture shaped your life? Agriculture has shaped every facet of my life. Being born and raised on the farm, it is literally the only life I have ever known.
I was taught a work ethic. I learned that sometimes what we wanted to do had to wait until the things we had to do got done, I learned things did not always work out like we planned, but I also learned that they did too. I learned it was important to take pride in and have passion for your work. I learned it was okay to think outside the box. I learned to never settle, always strive to do your best and keep pushing to make your best better.
I have no idea if I would have learned all those things anywhere else, but I am so thankful and appreciative that I did learn them in agriculture and on the farm.
What makes you smile? My family. Watching my daughters grow up on the farms that their daddy and I were raised is a blessing. I love to hear them tell people about life on the farms and how much they love it.
If you had the opportunity to get a message across to a large group of people, what would your message be? I hope that when I share my story that people can see the pride and joy we have in being farmers and relate it to how agriculture is important to them and to all of us. I believe it is important to see the big picture and how a respect of and faith and trust in each other and working together will get us farther in life.
What is your favorite food? Bar-B-Que Ribs, corn on the cob, and boiled peanuts has to fit in there somewhere.
Thank you, Sarah, for being a woman in agriculture that leads by example and works for your family, farm and to raise the bar for a next generation to strive for in leadership.
Below are links to every feature this month’s 30 Days of Women in Agriculture. There are hundreds of women I could feature. The truth is I haven’t featured some of my closest friends, neighbors and even family members. I might be sharing about women in agriculture for my lifetime. The most important thing to me is highlight each and every woman’s unique story and role. No matter where you live, you can know farmers and those that grow our food.
Also this month I am doing five giveaway surprises this month around the Women in Ag series. Right now, through Sunday November 23, you can enter for TWO Lodge Enamel Dutch Ovens I am sharing. They are absolutely my favorite and will be a great treat for you with holiday cooking coming up or a gift to share with a loved one. Winners will be announced Monday, November 24 on my Facebook page.