I recently met a woman who I have great respect for and can now call a friend. She is a woman. She is a mother. She is a mentor. She is a leader. She is the president of a very large organization. She is following her passions and dreams. She is changing the world.
Life is a road full of twists and turns, long and short journeys, bumpy and smooth paths and if we are lucky, many adventures along the way. On a perfectly perfect spring day, my FarmHer journey led me to the Strickland Ranch in Myakka City, Florida to meet Renee Strickland.
Did y’all know Texas has fire ants?! I think I may have vaguely heard of them here or there, but we don’t have them in Iowa, so why pay close attention?! Well, I’ll tell you why you should pay attention…because they live up to their name!
Nobody wants to be a survivor because that means by definition that you survived something tough. Something horrible. Something that nobody would ever think could be possible for themselves, nor would they wish upon another. Barbara Mazurek is a survivor.
Sometimes, or a lot of times really, life takes us in the most unforeseen but beautiful directions. Meet Jen Welch of The Crowded Acre farm in Buena Vista, Colorado. She grew up in Georgia, loving animals and working in a vet clinic before finding her way to Colorado in search of her next adventure. Around the time her first child was born Jen decided to make the leap from food service to the root of it all and started her farm, The Crowded Acre.
I should start by admitting that the title quote isn’t mine. It belongs to Lyna Knight, one of the FarmHers who I had the pleasure of photographing at Lyna Berry Farms in Central Florida. It’s how she defines her life as a FarmHer, it’s very real and it’s right on point.
On November 13, women came together from the state of Iowa to inform and inspire each other about opportunities in agriculture for the first time, organized by FarmHer.
Packing yesterday was easy - I just swapped out the dirty clothes from the last trip, just 3 days ago. I arrived at the airport in plenty of time...a full 9 minutes before my flight boarded. Climbed on the plane all ready to work during what I thought would be my most productive working part of the day - you know, that part when I'm on a plane and can't connect or be mom. I texted my husband and mom that I love them. I turned my phone to airplane mode and pulled out my iPad to find it had 1% battery life. Story of my day. Let me rewind....
Conferences focused on women (and especially women in ag) are always fun, insightful and completely grounding for me. My talk is going to be about “Jumping off Your Cliff” and it starts with one of the biggest cliffs that I have ever and hopefully will ever jump off of. That cliff was walking away from the career I had built for over a decade to have more time with my kids and to figure out what my next professional dream was. Turns out that dream was FarmHer.