Wednesday, January 15, 2014

farm women

The last few days have been a swirl of activity. A trip in a 15 passenger van with 10 women, all farmers. From an 84 year old farm owner who grew up on the same land she lives on now; a 40 something who has traveled a lot but really has lived her entire life on farm with 5 generations over her lifetime; a three generation representation from another farm; a 20 something who started her own farm just a few years ago; a couple of interns who have been on their respective farms for a few weeks and a few months respectively; a farmer who propagates more varieties of bearded irises than most and me.

Collective knowledge? Massive. Conference learnings are all over the map with both formal and informal. We met the deputy Secretary of the USDA. One in our party was formally the deputy Secretary of agriculture for Pennsylvania. A tax attorney. Formal sessions on managing transitions from one generation to the next. Farmland conservation. An executive from NFU. Milk co-ops in India.

And after presentations the informal conversations that happen. The commonalities between a multi thousand acre ranch and a 5 acre vegetable farmer and everyone in between. Family and how keeping that working while keeping the business working.

It has been awesome. So grateful for the opportunity. I was awarded a scholarship, and would have never been able to attend without it  I am honored to be asked to attend and soak up all this knowledge. A gift.

And I'm ready to be home. I miss my husband. I don't want hotel or restaurant food. Our farm food at our table with my husband is truly my favorite, and I have enjoyed my trip and all that has been gifted to me, home is calling.

I am a lucky woman. From one great thing to another.

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