I have a confession.. I knew from the time I was in elementary that I wanted a career in agriculture. Despite this realization, I always looked for ways out of this field. Why? I thought it would be too hard to climb the ladder of success in agriculture as a woman. I looked for careers in the medical field, the psychology field, and many many more. I even job shadowed a psychologist and looked into nursing school. I quickly learned that even though I’ve been vaccinating pigs and even helped with a Cesarean, or more widely known as a C-section, human blood doesn’t go over very well with my stomach. In my sophomore year, I realized I needed to toughen up and choose a career in the field that I was passionate about; agriculture. Since then I’ve looked with real interest into becoming everything from a vet to an ag lobbyist, and a horticulturist to an ag teacher. Honestly, I could choose any of those careers and be very happy, because I know it’s in the industry I love. I decided I would tough through being the minority, being the underestimated woman. I don’t think I have ever been so wrong in my life.
Last week I attended the Women in Ag conference. This is a conference where women from across Nebraska gather to talk about agriculture, more specifically farming. There are opportunities to attend workshops about the farm bills, farm insurance, horticulture, pesticides, and everything else agriculture. The first night of the conference a woman who had been to every single Women in Ag Conference since its inception 31 years ago was recognized. She stood up and said, “It’s the only place in the world I can talk farming with women.” I got goosebumps. Every doubt I’ve ever had about being a women in agriculture disappeared. These women and many more made footprints in every ag-related field for the women of my generation and we can now follow them without fear. I think sometimes my generation thinks that you have to be loud and bold to be courageous, or to make a difference; but these women have taught me that still waters run deep and there’s no other water, or sisterhood, that I’d rather be a part of.