Women have been involved in agriculture for centuries. In fact, in some cultures agricultural work was (and still is) primarily the work of women.
However, in the Midwest and Western Canada, the historical face of farming was male. This is not to say that women were any less involved in farming than they are today, but they were less visible. Today we have our mothers and grandmothers to thank for opening doors and breaking the molds. Women continue to be more and more visible in every aspect of agriculture. But that work is not done…
At a recent conference I attended one of the women speaking used the visual of a rope to illustrate that we can all be at different points in our journey, but all still pulling together. She went on to say “It is our obligation to help people, women, at different points on the rope.” I am glad that strong farm women ahead of me weren’t resentful of this obligation, took up the challenge and pulled me along. Perhaps they didn’t “sign up” to be part of shifting an industry. Perhaps they didn’t move out from “behind the scenes” by choice. But, however they got there, I am able to benefit from the work they did pulling the rope.
This week we celebrate International Women’s Day. In large and small ways, every day, women are changing how farming, and farmers, are perceived. May we all be able to see that we are interwoven, and work together to advance together. Cheers to all of the FarmFemmes who have moved, and continue to move, the rope.