• Empower Blog Series Part 2: Crafting Confidence

August 02, 2017 3 Comments

Written and Researched by Ali Lutey

As we often hear, failure is part of life and a path for success. However, many women in agriculture let the fear of failure keep them from speaking up, according to FarmHer's research.

What does it take for women to dream big without fear of failing?

Lean In talks about why women are more likely to stay quiet in the workplace but will raise their hand in the classroom. “Career progression often depends upon taking risks and advocating for oneself; traits that girls are discouraged from exhibiting. This may explain why girl’s academic gains have not yet translated into significantly higher numbers of women in top jobs.” 

However, Millennials instill hope for the future. “A 2012 pew study found for the first time that among young people ages eighteen to thirty-four, more young women (66 percent) than young men (59 percent) rated “success in a high-paying career or profession” as important to their lives,” (Sanberg).

Failure can often tear down the confidence we build up. Don’t let that happen - view failure as an opportunity and a necessary part of success. Take it from FarmHer pros


Advice from the Pros:

Pam Johnson, 65, Iowa: “Confidence and competence are continuous goals of mine and are growing with continuous learning experiences and pushing myself to be and do better. Learn from others; surround yourself with people who are smarter than you. Have someone you trust to talk with and critique you with constructive criticism. I have learned I don’t need to know all the right answers; I just need to learn to ask the right questions. Find work you are passionate about and surround yourself with people who give you energy. Create together.”

Jackie Lackey, 32, Texas: “View failure as an opportunity to learn and grow and get better. We all fail – it’s a necessary and beautiful part of the journey. Take time to celebrate even the smallest of victories. Those of us who are driven to be the best often never slow down enough to realize our accomplishments because achieving one goal simply leads to the next and larger goal. That’s ok, but take a break to do a little happy dance occasionally and thank those around you who helped you achieve those goals!”

Jill Halat, 23, Illinois: “There is a TON of opportunity for women in agriculture. Always be willing to learn how to better yourself and how you can improve. I ask myself every day, “What do I need to do to be successful?” I have heard multiple times that a company can teach you what you need to know but you have to possess the willingness to do so.

Kathryn Johnson, 24, Wisconsin: “Expose yourself to more than just the segment you want to be a part of. Ag equipment is just one piece of the puzzle that farmers have to think about. They are also thinking about marketing their crops, and what seed they are going to buy, and what nutrients their crops need, and SO many other inputs to their operation. I wish I would have gotten an internship in another segment of the industry rather than just ag equipment. It’s never too early to get involved and always be thinking about your reputation. These farmers may be your parent’s peers now, but they could potentially be your customer in the future.”

Rachel Rinner, 34, Iowa: “Work/ life balance was so hard for me to learn. I would say that used to be the least favorite. Now, I love working hard, and then coming home and not checking my phone for long periods. I encourage young women to unplug often. Start now. Hang out with your friends and put all the phones away. When work or school life gets busy, you will know how to balance it out.”

Confidence isn’t something everyone is born with, however, you can create your own. The next Empower Blog in the series will look into role-models who have the power to build up your confidence and set a fearless example.

Read the complete “FarmHer Empower Survey Report” here.




Sanberg, Sheryl. Lean in. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2015. Print.

3 Responses

Tina evans
Tina evans

August 05, 2017

Failure is not making mistakes or not making money. Failure is not trying.

Mary Prentice
Mary Prentice

August 04, 2017

WOW! Absolutely love this EMPOWER series! With the strength of confidence, we can accomplish much!

Frances Peelen
Frances Peelen

August 04, 2017

I liked the part you sometimes need to fail. I felt a failure in 1986 when we were about to lose our farm due to things beyond our control. 21 inches of rain in 24 hours. trying to save what we had left. I wish I had had this outlook then Fail First Attempt in Learning. End is not the end. Effort Never Dies. If you get No as an answer, remember N O means Next Opportunity. Have a nice day.

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