In this episode of Mother Earth News and Friends podcast, we are discussing what it’s like to be a woman farmer. There are more women farmers than ever, at the Kansas Rural Center Conference it is a 50/50 gender mix. The goal of this episode is to give insight into the minds of woman farmers and encourage those who are considering it.
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Andi Dale grew up in a small Kansas city and began dreaming of farm life at an early age. She took a teaching position in Protection, KS in 1995 and two years later started living the dream with her farmer husband, Kurt. Together, they have 3 daughters, 2 dogs, plenty of chickens, turkeys, pigs, goats, and cattle and while Kurt graduated from Kansas State University and Andi from Emporia State University and Fort Hays State University, they both agree that have done post-graduate work at the School of Hard Knocks where every year, they get a little smarter. Together they raise and market grass-finished beef, pastured pork and poultry and goat.
Tonya Mallozzi is a new grower on a small acreage located a short trip southwest of Kansas City. Her primary focus is sustainably farmed cool season vegetables but she is also working with woody ornamentals. Since she is aiming for a particular harvest window, much of what occupies my time is testing varieties, timing of planting determining produce availability and season extension. She would ideally like to be able to provide food to local schools and the surrounding community at a time when farm-fresh food is not as accessible. One day at a time she continues to incorporate what I have learned from other growers, LOTS of reading, my own personal experiences, mistakes and successes into a better understanding of how to establish a healthy farm environment, a healthy product and a healthy balance of farm and family.
Lucinda Stuenkel is the owner and manager of Sunny Day Farms, Palmer, Kansas. In 2010, her husband, Daryl, was killed in a vehicle accident. Overnight she had to take on the responsibility for the family cattle ranch. Through her own resilience and ability to farm smart she has been able to continue living on her family farm. She has been an early adopter of regenerative agriculture in her area and has become a trendsetter for other locals who have been impressed with her yields.
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