I am a girl.
We all know what this looks like. Sure there are many different types of girls, but a girl is a girl– xx chromosome plain and simple. For me being a girl means being able to wear dresses. It means makeup and heels. Being a girl means I give directions via landmarks and eat chocolate as stress relief. I am prone to bursts of emotional breakdowns and like to talk about my feelings, but I am also more than a dressed up emotional female. I am, and always have been strong-willed and independent. When I was two, my dad put me in time out and told me not to get out of that chair until he came back. When he came back, I was clear across the room. I hadn’t gotten out of my chair, I had taken the chair with me and scooted to the spot I wanted. Dad laughed and said that I was going to be trouble.
I am opinionated and at times a little cold-hearted, much to my mother’s chagrin. I am smart, competitive, sassy, and classy. Being a girl means that I have the joy to be a daughter, granddaughter, sister, girlfriend, and hopefully, one day a mother.I embrace being a girl and all of its feminine qualities–even in farming. For me, it is feminine farming.
Feminine farming looks different for every woman out there who farms. In case you were wondering, that is 1 million lady farmers. While each one is different, they all share a common goal of feeding the world, and I am one of them.
For me, feminine farming has evolved in the 13 years I have lived on a farm. I started with a “I have something to prove” attitude, always wanting to show up the boys. If they were lifting feed bags, I wanted to lift just as much. If we were wrangling goats, I wanted to be the last one to back down. So many times, my dad and grandpa would fuss at me for not letting my brother or them take care of it. I didn’t want them to take care of it, because I knew I COULD do it. I was missing the point that I SHOULD NOT necessarily do the heavy lifting that the guys were more capable of doing.
I won’t lie, that mentality is not in the past. It still comes up and I have to remember that my 6’4″ brother is better equipped to move the huge stack of 50 pound feed bags than I am. That doesn’t mean I don’t do things. I still get muddy, poopy and gross. I wrestle pigs and goats. I can drive a nail and work power tools to fix the fences and pens, but I have also embraced my more feminine side when it comes to farming. My muck boots are pink, and my jeans have bling on them. Sometimes, I have to run out in the pasture in heels to get a goat’s head unstuck. Somehow, I still can’t back a trailer like the boys can, so I let them deal with that.
Just because I am a girl, does not mean that I am helpless in the barns. Because I am a girl who is a farmer and enjoy partaking in feminine farming, I bring a little pink in the barn. I like to hold “conversations” with the animals and cuddle the newborns, naming everything that comes on our property. I let the guys lift the feed bags when they are there. I like to dress up and wear heels, but I’m not afraid to go rescue an animal in those heels. I curl my hair for livestock shows and wear the sparkliest belt I can find, even though, I may be wiping a pig’s butt at the same time. I paint my nails, even though I know it will only last a day after working outside on the farm.
I am a girl. I am a farmer, and daily I practice feminine farming.