6 Things I'm Tired Of Hearing As A Woman In Agriculture

6 Things I'm Tired Of Hearing As A Woman In Agriculture

Who runs the world? (Or in this case, the farm.) Girls.

As a server, I get asked a lot of questions; sometimes about our menu and sometimes about my personal life. Normally the later questions are good natured and pleasant small talk. Where am I from, where do I go to school, what am I studying and so on. And I just love to tell unsuspecting guests in my larger city restaurant that I'm an agricultural major and a third generation family farmer. Boy, some of their reactions are priceless. It's not just my guests that have them, there are lots of people all over with some pretty interesting reactions to the information. But, as a woman in agriculture, there are some things I'm tired of hearing or questions that have gotten real old.

1. "Really? You don't look like a farmer."

Normally I get this when my makeup is done and I look pretty put together. (It also doesn't help that I personally have a few piercings.) But really, what's a farmer supposed to look like? An older gentleman in overalls with an old seed cap? I didn't know I was supposed to look a certain way to farm.

2. "So is it your husband's farm?"

Actually no it's not. Whoever the lucky MAN is that I marry will be the one marrying INTO land. And even if I were to marry a man who farms, it becomes a team operation. I know plenty of kick-butt wife and husband duo's who love and farm together.

3. "Do you know how to do (insert basic and remedial farm task here)?"

Yes, I know how to drive a tractor. Yes, I've backed up a wagon and a livestock trailer before. If it needs to be done chances are I know how to do it already and if not I have no problem learning how.

4. "That seems like a lot of work for a lady." or "Are you strong enough for that?"

That seems like a funny joke to me. It's 2017 now y'all, haven't we learned men and women are equal yet? I can haul feed sacks and sling hay like anyone else. And guess what? Even if something is a little too heavy for me I'll find my own way to get it done.

5. "That doesn't seem like it would be very lady like."

Well, Cheryl, I'm not really concerned about being lady like while I'm shoveling s**t or trying to turn a foal, that's not really my top priority.

6. "I always thought that was more of a guys thing."

That my friend is where I will be happy to explain why you're wrong. Agriculture knows no sex, it accepts both men and women and there are some pretty awesome women out there in the field. And I am beyond happy to be a woman in this industry.

As a woman in agriculture, I've learned how to deal with the questions and comments. By now, I just let them roll off my back. I love what I do and I'm actually pretty awesome at it too. After all, in the words of Beyonce, the queen herself, who runs the world?

Cover Image Credit: Blake Fox

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Sometimes You Have To Stalk Yourself To Realize You're A Gosh-Darn, Kick-Butt, Girl Boss

I'm not wasting my life, but I'm not appreciating it either.

The other day I decided to stalk myself on all of my social media accounts. I feel like so many people do this, but very few people admit to it because they fear being viewed as vain or conceited. When I stalk myself, I'm usually doing it to give myself a pat on the back. Is there really a problem with that?

Here's the thing, in the past year I have lived through some amazing experiences, but never took the time to stop and appreciate them. I don't know about you, but I've been trained to always focus on the next goal, to complete the next task. With my laser beam focus pointed straight ahead I rarely take the time to cherish the moments or awknowledge what I have already accomplished.

Recently I've found myself easily falling into this rut where I feel like I'm wasting my time. I see everyone around me running around. They're all busy with parties, friends and jobs. I know people who were invited to New York Fashion Week, I know people who are spending the next 6 months in countries across the world, I know people who have started to build their own businesses, and I know people who are becoming financially independent adults.

I find myself sitting in my dorm room alone and watching all of these amazing things happen through social media. I feel like I'm always checking off a to do list that never seems to end and watching a whole lot of Netflix while everyone else is experiencing the world. Sure, I spend many days following to-do lists and watching videos, but when I stalked myself I realized there are so many details I am missing.

I'm not wasting my life, I'm just not taking the time to appreciate it.

As I stalked my accounts I decided to make a list of every amazing opportunity that has come my way since last February. Let me just say, it's a pretty freaking long list. I've gotten promotions, written for newspapers, gone to concerts, been contacted by companies, made great friends, spent quality time with family, navigated NYC with only a little help via text message, and I've learned so much about myself. That's just the summary!

This whole time I've always felt like as long as there's another goal on the horizon I can't stop and smell the roses. Here's the problem with that, nobody's perfect. There will always be room for improvement.

There will always be another goal.

If I don't take the time to slow down and appreciate my accomplishments as they happen, I will never take the time to appreciate them. While I often still doubt it, I've come to realize something about myself. I'm actually the best gosh-darn, kick-butt girl boss there ever was, and it took me stalking myself to even appreciate it.

This month I started a journal to keep track of everything fun or successful thing I do. Night out with the girls, write down something that stuck out from it. Job interview? Promotion? Concert? Write it down. When you see the list of everything you've experienced, it becomes a little easier to stop feeling like you're wasting your life away.

Sometimes you have to stalk yourself like you stalk your favorite girl boss in order to see how amazing you really are.

Cover Image Credit: Erin Alzapiedi

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