March 8th marks International Women’s Day and National Agriculture Day. They don’t run parallel. It’s not a coincidence to me. Women’s advancement connects directly into feeding our families and growing food.
Five generations ago, a woman in my family was a pioneer on the prairie, widowed, living in a sod house with seven children. She farmed and worked as a mid-wife for money. She didn’t just survive. She thrived. She advanced the next generation. Today my sister is her namesake. And we will always be thankful for Norwegian speaking Great-Great Grandma Kirsti’s pioneer example. My parents farm the land today that our family farmed five generations ago. Agriculture has advanced. Women have advanced, thanks to generations pushing forward.
Three generations ago a woman in my family left her family ranch on the North Dakota prairie, boarded a train for the east coast for an education and later returned home, divorced with two young sons. She finished her education. She married and had two more sons. She wasn’t perfect. But she paved a path for all four of her sons to be educated and build success for themselves. She didn’t just survive. She earned her master’s degree. She was a pioneer in early childhood education on one of the poorest Indian reservations in the country. She was eclectic, an original for her generation.
As a young child, I thought Grandma Dorothy was just downright awkward. But today, I recognize her as a pioneer. Reflecting back on her life has made me realize that my imperfections can work for good, even when the circumstances seem to work against you. And so I do the best I can with what I have, where I am, just as my parents always taught me to do.
I surround myself with women who inspire me.
I have learned from women who have been willing to tell their stories of loss, only to find triumph.
I have seen generations of women empower one another. Building on each other’s success, voices grow stronger.
Thank you for being a voice that inspires me. It’s the hundreds of blogs I have read, the strong women and men of my family, my friends that surround me, those that I only connect with online and those that I see at the grocery store that inspire me.
I live and breathe agriculture from my family to my career. It feeds my family. It’s the 98% of American farms that are family owned and operated that inspire me to share how our food is grown. But it’s the women that surround me that empower me to boldly share.
Who and what inspires you to share your passions?
Linking up to the Rural Journal Blog Hop and Thankful Thursday from two women who inspire me.
” Women are empowered by other women who connect and share their stories.” Do you ever wonder if men have the same experience. That quote from you just struck me this morning I guess because I have so MANY women around me that inspire me. Many I’ve not even met. Wonderful post and as always I love the photos.
Katie, thanks for this post! I was just thinking this morning what a happy coincidence it was that Ag Day and International Women’s Day share the same date on the calendar. Thank you for speaking up for both groups (and then some)!
what a great post!
Lisa @ Two Bears Farm says
I love hearing about the inspiring and amazing women in your family 🙂
So glad you linked up with Rural Thursday today!
Thank you for including even a whisper of me in this post. I had a wow moment reading it. I think this post is exactly why so many of us do what we do. My grandmom laid such incredible groundwork for me as did my mom. Although I’m the first woman in generations to include ag for us, I hope my path encourages more in the future.
Nancy Claeys says
What a wonderful post, Katie. I truly believe if it weren’t for the women, so many farms would not have succeeded. It truly is a partnership no matter the endeavor.
Thank so much for sharing. 🙂
The Wife of a Dairyman says
Katie, YOU are an inspiration to me in many ways. Reading this post brought out such strong emotions in me….so beautifully written.
Really a great post and so well written. Women have such a powerful effect on society in general.
Great post…thanks for reminding us how important we really are.
Emily @ Zweber Family Farm says
LOVE LOVE LOVE Katie. Another home run! Thank you for all you do for women, agriculture and women in agriculture.
Karri H says
I love how friendship and bonds are forged by women who genuinely care for fellow human beings beyond their families, beyond their close circle of friends. There is nothing more exciting for me then to see my friends succeed and bloom. You are such a inspiration. Thank you for being a leader and advocate for ag and your family! BTW, I made your ribs last week…yum!
Pamela Sweeten says
Thank you for such a wonderful post. It is such a joy knowing you and knowing and hearing your passion for agriculture.
I wasn’t raised on a farm but am so thankful for all the women who have and are on the FARM.
Aimee @ everydayepistle.com says
I loved the post. And I loved learning something new. 98% of American farms are still family-owned. That’ll change the conversation, or should.
Gooseberry Patch says
Loved this post and loved hearing about the women in your family who inspire you to this day…these are stories that should be told and yours is among them! Thanks so much for sharing.
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