Tamrin and I had talked for awhile about having guest contributors on The Hive, fellow artists, travelers or other ladies doing an incredible job making their way in the world. Here is the first. Meet my friend Candace, a hardworking, passionate lady making her mark in a male dominated industry. I am so proud of her and so thrilled she agreed to share a snippet of her life with all of you.
Recently, a friend of mine sent me the link for the “Barbie Careers Farmer Doll,” a doll in a plaid work shirt and rubber boots, complete with chicken in hand (see the doll here). In related products, there is a Farm Veterinarian Barbie. Now pardon me for acting like I’m exceptionally old, but back in my day, there was no Farmer Barbie. Women in agriculture were not something I typically saw in leadership positions growing up, many of them were married to farmers, or worked as secretaries or other stereotypical female jobs. Careers in agriculture have been considered only male roles, but there are more women heading into the ag work force today than ever before, and I am proud to find myself in that group, on a road paved by women with the audacity to live outside society’s standards and go after their passion.
I could talk for hours about the women in agriculture I have met throughout the years that have influenced me, but there was one woman who has been a beacon for me since birth to remind me I could do anything if I had the nerve. My grandma Winifred Lease, or Grandma Winnie, was a badass. She grew up in the city and knew little of farming, livestock, machinery, etc. However, when she met and married my grandpa and favorite dairy farmer, Earl, and became a part of the farm by caring for heifers, running the baler, managing the finances, raising six ornery children, and lending a hand anywhere needed. She was strong willed, and jumped in deeper than she was expected, for that was the kind of lady she was. She was an outspoken woman who helped raise a wonderful family and build a heck of a dairy farm. Every time I am concerned that I am over my head in life, I think of that woman and how she fearlessly got involved, with little concern over what she could and couldn’t do.
So here I am, a 23-year-old recent college graduate with a degree in agriculture and a passion for helping people breed their best cattle. I moved from the bustling city of Columbus, Ohio, to a part of the world commonly just referred to as “Amish Country”. I spend my days visiting with dairymen, talking about making cute little babies that will wind up being productive, exceptional cows in their herd. In the evenings, I work part time on a dairy farm, milking cows and feeding the heifer calves. It’s a weird change of pace, but it fits me well and gives me the chance to work with cows and talk to people. Whenever I feel a little overwhelmed by it all, I think of women like my grandma who stepped out of society’s standards and proved themselves. I hope someday girls can look up to me as someone with that kind of strong spirit.
Guest Bee OUT.