3 inspiring stories of women in ag
03.05.21 Shannon Linderoth
“Sugar and spice and all things nice. That’s what little girls are made of.”
Well, we’re here to tell you that’s a wheelbarrow full of you know what.
The little girls we know grew up playing on rock piles. They learned to drive tractors and skid steers early, and they were the best TLC-givers for a sick farm animal. They raced to beat the boys to the barn for chores. And they came in after sundown with manure on their jeans and literal cowlicks in their hair.
Those farmgirls are now leading women in agriculture — and we’re proud to call them Filamentarians, too.
Here are stories from a few of our leading ladies:
Sydney is a sixth-generation dairy farmer who proudly works on her family’s 600-cow dairy farm, carrying on the family legacy that began in 1855.
“As farmers, we wear so many hats in caring for our cows, land and business,” she says. “I’m fortunate to work with my family — conquering things together — and making a difference in agriculture and our community.”
Sydney and her sister live the adage “work smarter, not harder.” They use technology and automation to propel the farm forward, while remaining steadfast in their commitment to put cows first and build a sustainable future. Sydney embodies modern dairy farming and puts her skills to use improving cow health, making mating and breeding decisions, and poring over data points to determine which animals need extra support or attention.
Farming permeates Sydney’s soul and intertwines with her marketing career, providing a farmer’s lens to every marketing project.
“Even if I wasn’t born on a farm, I know I would have found a path to agriculture,” says Sydney.
When Hannah was three years old, her dad took her with him to work on their sheep farm. The rest is history. She fell in love with agriculture, including the hard work, dedication to animal care and the all-in mindset required to build a meaningful life and career. This conversation led to the ultimate icebreaker of being able to say she’s been elbow-deep in sheep delivering lambs.
Now, in addition to being a social media maven, she and her dad are partners in the family’s show lamb business where Hannah oversees all sheep management and nutrition decisions.
“We have a division of labor,” jokes Hannah. “I take care of the sheep — I really like nutrition — and he takes care of the buildings and fences.”
“I didn’t have women in my family who were involved in agriculture,” says Hannah. “But my dad’s support was just as beneficial, and in some ways, made me grow stronger. Whether it’s about farming or anything else, if you want something, just do it!”
Whether it’s trudging through snowdrifts to feed calves at 4:30 a.m., driving a tractor to pick up hay bales, seeing the excitement in her kids’ eyes as they discover the wonders of newborn calves or coaching marketing clients, agriculture is Brianna’s lifeblood.
Brianna, her husband and his family manage a custom heifer raising, cropping and cow-calf operation — along with their off-farm professions also rooted in agriculture. Brianna could give graduate-level classes in logistics. “With clients or on the farm, we’re always planning, trialing, testing and learning. And communicating!” she says.
She credits her mom and grandmother for setting awesome examples of hard-working women in agriculture. And for instilling in her the importance of knowing your value and never asking for anything less.
“Mom would have me strapped in a carrier attached to the milking cart in the barn while she was milking cows with my dad. And my grandma was the caretaker,” Brianna says. “It’s a great legacy to carry on.”
Sydney, Hannah and Brianna are just three of the many inspiring stories of women in ag — both at Filament and across the industry. We celebrate their hard work and passion to move the agriculture industry forward every day.