A Saline County pee-wee exhibitor shows her pig while adding some extra flair to the show-ring with her hot pink boots and brush. (Michaela Leimkuehler/Democrat-News)
When I say the word "farmer" what is the first image that pops into your head?
-Is it a picture of someone in bib overalls holding a pitchfork?
-Do you see someone milking a black and white cow?
-What about someone in a big green tractor driving down the road?
How many of you will admit you envisioned a man doing all of those things?
I wanted to take a few minutes to reflect on National Women's Day, which took place on Tuesday, March 8, and appreciate all the women who have carved a path for breaking out of what was expected and doing what they wanted. Whether they were seeking higher education or employment outside of the home, my generation is reaping the benefits of their actions. I also want to thank the previous generations who started the movement to wear jeans instead of dresses. Those brave women took a stand to say, "hey, anything men can do, we can do too."
Especially the jeans thing. Who wants to climb in and out of the tractor in a dress? Not this girl.
Equal pay in the workplace is a topic up for discussion by some of the GOP candidates gunning for election. I'm happy to report that your gender cannot affect your pay-scale in the production agriculture world. The numbers on your pay-stub are a direct result of your work during harvest and the care you invested into your livestock. Cooperating weather is also a factor to a farmer's check, and even then, Mother Nature doesn't play favorites. The cows could care less if you have a ponytail or a ball-cap on, as long as you feed them on time. After all, they are the most critical 1,400-pound supervisors you'll ever encounter.
I hope to meet and speak with many of the women who plan on attending the 2016 Women's Day in Ag conference on Friday, March 11. I'm looking forward to hearing new stories of the farmers, or #FarmHers, in Saline County.
Now, when I ask you to picture a farmer, what do you see?