Welcome to 30 Days of Women in Agriculture, the 2014 Edition! Carrie Mess from Milford, Wisconsin is a bold voice for agriculture. I have known her for about five years through the AgChat Foundation. I could say a lot about Carrie. We are very different people, come from diverse backgrounds yet we share a common passion, agriculture. We’ve had a lot of fun together when our travels bring us together and by spending time together we have learned we share more in common than agriculture. We remember where we’ve come from, are looking ahead to the future and aren’t afraid to say it like it is. Carrie uses stronger language than me though. And we laugh about it.
I respect Carrie’s willingness to take on big issues, not back down from what she believes in and her commitment to her family farm. She is not a person behind a computer just typing about agriculture. She works. She gets it done. Every day. She has taken her farm story on the road and now also speaks across the nation.
Today Carrie needs your vote. Vote here. Carrie is a finalist for the Faces of Farmers and Ranchers through U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance. Voting ends Sunday, November 2. Vote today. Vote tomorrow. And please ask your friends and family to do the same.
Now meet Carrie Mess AKA DairyCarrie, in her words. Originally from Madison, Wisconsin, she lives with her husband, Patrick, three dogs and three cats on their farm, Milford, Wisconsin.
What is your role in agriculture ? I am a dairy farmer. My husband and I are partners with his parents on our 100 cow dairy farm. On the farm I am in charge of our breeding program, employee management and I do the majority of the OB/GYN and vet care for our cows. I also tell the story of our farm via my blog and social media channels. That has added speaking to groups about the importance of talking to our customers to my roll in agriculture that takes me beyond the farm
How has agriculture shaped your life? I grew up in the city with only a tiny connection to agriculture. I was a horse obsessed little girl and that turned into the gateway drug to agriculture in my life.
What excites you about your community? I think it was last year when I was driving home from the airport and realized as I turned onto the highway we live on that I was home. I love Madison, there is a bevy of amazing restaurants and a great live music scene but my soul needs space. I feel like I belong here and that’s something very important to me.
When was the last time you tried something for the first time? In September I traveled to Europe for the first time. Taking in the sights, Sounds and flavors of France and Italy was an amazing experience!
Which children’s book best describes your childhood/life? Dr. Seuss was a favorite so I think the first title that comes to mind is “The Places You Will Go”. I would have never guessed that I would be a dairy farmer. I really had no clue. Life is funny like that.
What is your favorite home-cooked meal? I think I have two, in the summer there is nothing better than a plate of fresh heirloom tomatoes with some pickled asparagus, summer sausage and cheese. In the winter a big plate of spaghetti with meat sauce topped with shaved parmesan and super garlicky bread hits the spot every single time.
If you had the opportunity to get a message across to a large group of people, what would your message be? My message would be to stop and think critically about what you hear and what you share. There is a lot of noise about our food. Too many people are trying to make a name for themselves by using food fear. We all deserve choice. A lunch at the golden arches won’t give you cancer or make you fat and organic berries won’t save you from looking a little older each year.
What makes you smile? My cows, good cheese, great music and my husband, most days.