10 Truths of Being a Female Farmer


Strawflower in the garden 

There is so much that goes into being a woman farmer in 2018.  As we move into a new age of Agriculture, women are placing themselves at the helm of farming operations across the country and providing this magic to their local communities.  After about a decade of doing this myself, I thought I’d compile a list of 10 truths about the realities faced by female farmers. This list could be 20 pages long, so I narrowed it down to 10 items I think are good glimpses into the experienced life of the modern day woman farmer in the United States.

1. Your Life must be so peaceful.

Ah, yes - the peaceful life of farming.  Countless people have come up to me and talked about how beautiful a life of raising food must be and for the most part I agree with them.  It isn’t until they notice the small, almost unrecognizable twitch in my eye that they back up and move along to another stall at the farmers market. Farming is a beautiful life and, as a woman farmer, the connection to the natural world is exceptionally healing for the mind and soul.  Farming is also an incredible test to the will power, emotions, intellect, and physical form and, when left unchecked, can be anxiety forming and ego crumbling. Farming has a way of peeling back all of the layers and forcing us to look in the mirror and see all of the dark, hidden parts of ourselves a “normal” life may not.  Peaceful? Sometimes. Fulfilling? Always.

2. Raising cute livestock = death, abscesses, and poop.

Baby Goats in the Field

As women, many of us can’t help but be maternal creatures and what can be more tempting than the idea of raising cute, little, baby animals?  They certainly are adorable and do satisfy the need to be near something small and helpless, but raising livestock is a lot less like the visit to the petting zoo and a lot more like the visit to the ER.  There is always poop everywhere and you will become a contessour of poops. The healthy ones, the sick ones, the fly strike, and, oh, the colors. The biological world is a deeply disturbing place and raising livestock will make you ready for all the mucous, blood, and deformities you couldn’t even imagine.  Once you realize livestock are moving homes for other organisms, you’ve set yourself up for a life of half vet, half producer, and ever ready for whatever falls or needs pulled out of the back end of the cow.

3. If you build your dream farming career, the mansplainers will come.

10/18/2018 5:59:31 AM

Great article, Thanks!

10/18/2018 5:59:30 AM

Great article, Thank you!

10/16/2018 10:02:59 PM

yes!!!! I agree 100% I have been a woman farmer for a total of 25 years and I have heard, seen, and lived through everything u talked about. if a man tells u about his daddy farming or grandpaw please listen and gleen all the info possible, including what happened, what type of weather was endured , ect. this is always good and history is a great teacher. I have owned miller farms for the last ten years. this is a 100% woman owned business growing food sold at farmers markets rabbits for pelfreeze who has government contracts, and am now filing for government contracts through the USDA and department of defense. Also I have grower contracts with local restraunts within a 300 mile radius. yes u can do this -being a woman farmer be all u can be. it is a long hard road but it will pay off if u put your mind to it. Shirley miller millers farm

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