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?