• I Have No Idea What I Am Doing....

February 28, 2017 2 Comments

A few years back I spent my days working in insurance.  Then I quit.  Yep, I was a quitter, but I needed a change in my life, I needed a shake up to figure out what was next.  Shortly afterwards, I started a photo project to highlight the role women play in agriculture.  Well, that grew.  I designed a website, started social media pages, started sharing their stories, and started getting some pretty great press.  All the while, I had no idea what I was doing, but I surrounded myself with great people, put smile on my face, took a deep breath and gave it a shot.

Then the project turned into a business, I started designing and selling a few T-shirts, displaying photographs and eventually doing some public speaking about the FarmHer project.  When I would get up on stage my voice would shake and knees felt weak.  I still had no idea what I was doing but kept at it, surrounded myself with even more amazing women that I had met along the way, and gave it my best.


Then I started getting a little further out of Iowa, attending ag-focused conferences and events, selling shirts, talking, photographing women on farms and ranches around the country and doing a whole lot of connecting with other women involved in agriculture.  I found that by connecting with these other absolutely amazing, strong and successful women, FarmHer kept gaining steam. I had no idea what I was doing, but I put on a brave face.


Soon with a lot more girl power from intern Lexi Marek, we started our first FarmHer event.  I really, really had no idea what I was doing.  We rented space, put together the materials, built out an agenda and speaker list and worked on sponsorships with the culmination of a fun and empowering day for about 250 young women.  We brought together a group of strong and successful women to talk and share their stories and it was powerful.  Then we expanded it to four states.  We don’t always know what we are doing, but we have learned a ton and have an amazing network of women we have met along the way; FarmHers, RanchHers, professionals and people who want to help and they give us the confidence to push forward!


Through Grow I connected with another strong and smart woman who I now work with to create our very own TV show, shining a light on the women of agriculture on a really, really big stage.   Along the journey I have met and photographed many, many women around the country.  I have learned how to be in front of a camera, not just behind one.  I have gained friends and expanded my network in ways that I couldn’t have ever imagined and I get to share the FarmHer stories with over 50 million households each week.  I can’t say I always know what I am doing, in fact most of the time I don’t, but in working with the amazing women on my team and that I have had the privilege of visiting, we have created something quite special.

Later this week, we are having a FarmHer meet up during one of the ag industry’s most well-known shows, The Commodity Classic.  We are inviting all of the amazing women I have met along this journey, their friends and anyone else who would like to put themselves out there a bit.  Come say hi, enjoy a coffee on us and see where the morning takes you (RSVP’s are required so if you are interested, email Carly@farmher.com).


Then, this coming June, we are hosting our first FarmHer event for all ages of women called CultivateHer.  CultivateHer will bring together women from all walks of life, both professionals and producers, who share a love for agriculture and a desire to collaboratively bring light to how their lifestyles are impacting the world around them. CultivateHer is a place where we can bring together women to meet, talk, and join forces in the same way that I have had the pleasure of doing on this crazy, fun FarmHer journey over the past four years.  Click here for more details on this upcoming event.


So, I invite you to our Meet Up (RSVPs required, click here) later this week or to CultivateHer in June, or to both.  I encourage you to put yourself out there.  I encourage you to step outside of your comfort zone and see where it takes you. And, if you aren’t really sure of yourself or your journey or the what’s, where’s, or aren’t really sure of yourself, don’t worry.  We aren’t either.  But, one thing I have learned over the past few years is that if you don’t try, it won’t happen.  I hope to see you there!


2 Responses

Vikki Brandstetter
Vikki Brandstetter

March 11, 2017

Thanks for all the encouragement and for sharing your journey. Hope to see you in Des Moines in June with Moma!

Sari bainbridge
Sari bainbridge

March 09, 2017

I attended your class in Commodity Classic 2017, and your stories about your passion and the video that you shown were inspiring.
I’m new to farm life and really enjoyed your class :)

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