It’s okay to be yourself, Jessica Lovich says
By Diego Flammini
With International Women’s Day occurring in March, Farms.com is connecting with female farmers to give messages to their younger selves, young people in the ag industry today, and to highlight who in the industry provided inspiration to them along the way.
If Jessica Lovich could talk to her 12-year-old self now, the dairy farmer from Balgonie, Sask. would tell her that it’s okay to live an uncomplicated life.
At that age, peer acceptance is important. But it isn’t what defines a person, she says.
“I’d tell her it’s okay to want a simpler life,” Lovich told Farms.com. “I remember at that age thinking I had to create this life that was noteworthy and one that people would see. I’d tell myself it’s okay to just be you, and it’s okay to have a quiet life producing the products you love, and you don’t need flash and to be recognized. Saying that now is ironic because my husband (Michael) and I have been recognized for our work.”
The couple were named Saskatchewan’s Outstanding Young Farmers for 2021.
Lovich spent her childhood on her family’s dairy farm in Alberta before moving to Saskatchewan.
Watching her mom Marylee work makes her a inspiration, Lovich says.
“I’ve seen her work so hard to keep things rolling at the farm and get no recognition for anything she’s done,” she said. “She’s been so steady and she’s given herself to her community multiple times over.”
Lovich has inherited community involvement from her mom.
For example, she’s involved with SaskMilk, her local church and 4-H, and recently coached the figure skating team for Team Southeast at the Saskatchewan Winter Games.
To young people entering the ag sector, Lovich says to take advantage of all the opportunities the industry provides.
She also encourages young ag professionals to venture into the unknown.
“Never stop looking and don’t limit yourself,” she said. “I thought I was going to have a career as a veterinarian and here I am back at grassroots farming. There’s nothing wrong with trying different things if that’s what it takes to discover your passion.”
And if a person decides production agriculture is for them, to be proud of that decision.
The 2021 Census of Agriculture counted 262,455 farm operators. The number of farmers has declined in every ag census since 2001.
“There are only so many of us and we’re never ‘just a farmer,’” she said. “Maybe nobody gets to see what you do every day, but everybody benefits from what you do. Being a farmer is such an important job. The food you raise helps feed the world. It doesn’t get much more important than that.”
Top photo: Michael and Jessica Lovich surrounded by their children Reata (left), Raelyn (behind) and Renelle.