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Highlighting women in agriculture

Highlighting women in agriculture

Farms.com will speak with multiple women in ag leading up to International Women’s Day

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer
Farms.com

With International Women’s Day approaching on March 8, Farms.com is connecting with multiple women in ag.

The interviews will touch on what the interviewees would tell their 12-year-old selves about being a farmer, to provide a message to young women entering the ag sector, and to identify women in ag they consider to be heroes or inspirations.

The first farmer to participate is Jennifer Meyer, a cash crop and livestock producer from Wilton, N.D. and director with the North Dakota Soybean Council.

Together with her husband James, they have an eight-year-old daughter named Jasmine. The couple started farming together in 2006.

Working in ag was never on Meyer’s radar.

Meyer family
Jennifer, Jasmine and James Meyer.

“I was a city person through and through and never thought about working on a farm,” she told Farms.com. “When James told me he was a farmer, I thought about it as the picturesque hundred acres with some horses and chickens. This was a tiny northern farmstead.”

The family farms about 2,500 acres of crops and raises about 150 head of cattle.

Meyer got her start in ag after an unfortunate event.

She lost her job, but had enough savings and vacation banked to help James on the farm while she looked for work.

“I helped with haying, then it turned into learning how to combine,” she said. “If I learned how to combine, I may as well learn how to plant and spray, and everything continued from there.”

Knowing what she knows now about agriculture, Meyer would have one message for her 12-year-old self.

Jen Meyer
Jennifer Meyer

It isn’t that hard.

“It’s not as difficult as people make it out to be,” she said. “The older generation will tell you how hard it is, because for them it was. The older farmers had to shovel grain bins out, we have an evacuator to do that for us. All the tools and technology we have available to us now make the jobs on the farm so much easier to do.”

And with her daughter around, Meyer wants to instill in her that agriculture doesn’t have to be a male-dominated industry, she said.

For women who are considering ag as a career, Meyer has two messages for them.

Pursue it because agriculture provides opportunities away from the farm; and it’s okay if farming and ag isn’t your passion.

“The industry is so rewarding and there’s a lot of things I don’t think I’d be able to do if it wasn’t for me being in ag,” she said. “I’ve been to parts of the country I would never have thought of going. At the same time, I’m here to say agriculture doesn’t have to be your be all and end all. If all you want to do is dabble because that’s what works for you, that’s totally fine too.”

When Meyer joined the North Dakota Soybean Council in April 2020, she became the first woman to be elected to the board.

She got involved with the board on the advice of Stephanie Sinner, the executive director of the organization and someone Meyer considers an inspiration.

“She’s wonderful to deal with and having her available to guide me is so helpful,” Meyer said. “Stephanie is such a mentor to me and is always available if I need help or support. Everyone should have someone like Stephanie in their lives.”

If you’re a female farmer who’d like to participate in this article series or know of one who might be interested, contact Farms.com.


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