As I stayed home from work a day last week to care for my son who was sick, I reflected on how things have changed quite a bit from when I was a child. Growing up, my mom stayed home with my sisters and me while my dad went to work. This wasn’t abnormal – at least not for where I grew up. Today, I am a working mother, as are most of the women that I know.
Then I started reflecting on the industry that I have been fortunate to be a part of – agriculture. I didn’t grow up in ag, but as I think about the women in this industry, my guess is that for them, today isn’t a lot different than it was when they were children. Women play a vital role in agriculture and have for a very long time. My college roommate grew up on a farm in Iowa, and every time I went home with her, her mom was just as busy on the farm as her dad was.
There are a number women here at Valley Irrigation and at our dealerships who have broken through the barrier of male dominated jobs and have become territory managers, manufacturing leads, saleswomen, etc. I am so proud of these women. They did not let history stand in their way – they forged ahead and will make the path for the next generation of women a little bit easier to traverse.
The women on the farm and in the field day in and day out – these women are my heroes. They shoulder the burden alongside men and have shattered stereotypes that may still restrict women in other industries. Women are owners, managers, decision makers, and advisors. They have learned new technologies that will help their farms prosper. I can only hope that one day, a younger woman will look at me and be as proud of me as I am of the women I have had the pleasure of meeting and admiring during my time in the ag industry.