An Ode Amazing Ag Women
A Reminder to Own Your Brilliance and Let It Shine
When you choose to stand in your brilliance rather than downplay it, you strengthen your self-confidence, self-esteem, and belief in self.
By Michelle Cederberg
Even though I live in the city, or maybe because of it, I have a profound amount of respect for women in agriculture. In all my years speaking at AWC and for other Ag related organizations, I never met an Ag woman who did not impress me with their strength, smarts, work ethic, versatility, pride of purpose, and ability to wear multiple hats on any given day to take care of their family, their farm and everything connected to it. Yeah, that’s you.
Sure, I’m familiar with some elements of farm life, though at nowhere near the level you experience every day. I grew up in rural Maple Ridge, B.C. where my parents kept a biggish garden and a small hobby farm. I picked eggs in the morning and fed our two pigs, I picked carrots and dug up potatoes for dinner, and when I had a friend over, I’d even back the ‘cover-up-story’ that the rabbit on the dinner table (that dad had slaughtered earlier) was actually chicken. I’d tell myself, “My friends don’t understand life on the farm. It’s better they don’t know.” Luckily, they couldn’t tell the difference. Like I said, nowhere near the level you experience every day, but enough to have a heartfelt appreciation for what you do.
The thing is, when we’re up to our elbows in life stuff, we tend to overlook our own brilliance in getting through it all, because it’s just part of life. Ag women are often more prone to brushing off their brilliance, perhaps because you’re too busy to pay attention, or you don’t have a suitable frame of reference to help you recognize that what you accomplish every day is in fact a big deal. Well, it is. I often say that one of the reasons I became a professional coach is because I keep meeting people who have no idea how amazing they are, and I want to help them see that, so, in this ode to amazing Ag women I want to remind you to own your brilliance and let it shine.
I think of some of the farm women I know, who regularly juggle multiple priorities, always working from the heart, even when it’s hard work, and doing so from a place of humility, generosity and sometimes even self-deprecation.
My friend and fellow AWC presenter Tamara Carter is a transplanted city slicker who fell in love with a farmer. She runs Carter Cattle Company alongside her husband and kids, she holds down a full-time job, volunteers, and does a great job with all of it (and her grass-fed beef is amazing).
Fellow professional speaker and coach, Elaine Froese educates farm families about succession planning and farm transition, and coaches them through the stresses and frustrations that only families in today’s agriculture climate understand. A lifelong farmer, she does this while also working her own family farm in southwestern Manitoba.
Tracy Brunet is a Canadian agriculture media personality, podcast host, speaker and CEO of Farm Marketer and Cottage Marketer. She is passionate about self-development, agriculture and all things business, and does it all while also helping run the family farm. Her Impact Farming Show shares content rich conversations to enrich the lives of people in Agriculture. Definitely worth checking out.
Iris Meck is a prime example of the idea that “You can leave the farm, but the farm never leaves you.” Though she now lives in the city, her life’s work is to provide a platform for women who are passionate about agriculture and food. Through this publication and the Advancing Women Conference she helps women in Ag enhance their family life, community, career, and industry, and draws producers, entrepreneurs, representatives of a grower association or corporate agribusiness, even university students studying agriculture. Talk about farm legacy. If you’ve been to that event you know. If you haven’t, GO!
These women are just a tiny representation of what it means to be a woman in agriculture, and if I met you, the stories you’d share with me about your own work and life would only confirm what I know to be true: Women in agriculture are truly amazing …and humble, understated, and selfless alongside their brilliance.
So, when you think about the things you do every day as a woman in agriculture, what are you proud of? What are you great at? In what ways do you knock it out of the park every day? And, how often do you really think about that and congratulate yourself for it?
How often do you own your brilliance and truly let it shine?
I’m not suggesting you stand on the mountain tops and bellow your awesomeness for everyone to hear, but maybe that’s not such a bad idea on some level. There is beauty in humility, but only to a point. Here’s why. When you choose to stand in your brilliance rather than downplay it, you strengthen your self-confidence, self-esteem, and belief in self. When that happens, you’re likely to set bigger goals, and not question your ability to crush them.
Not only that, but you position yourself as a leader and someone that other women in agriculture can look up to and emulate. That’s a gift you give to yourself and the vital industry you’ve poured your life and heart into.
I know some of you already do that on a daily basis, so you know the difference it makes for yourself and others. Thank you. Keep shining your light. And, if you’re on the humbler side, here are two ideas to help you better own your brilliance and share it with others:
1) WRITE YOUR “AWESOME LIST”
As a reminder to yourself, take fifteen minutes to write down fifteen amazing things about you. Assume that no one else will see the list and be really honest about what you like about yourself, what you’re most proud of, what you’re great at. These things make you amazing! Be unlimited about what you deem as amazing!
2) JUST SAY THANK YOU
When someone pays you a compliment or recognizes you for something well done, don’t dismiss, discount or deny their gift. Simply say “Thank You”, and let that gift land.
3) HELP OTHERS SEE THEIR BRILLIANCE
As women we need to work hard every day to lift each other up. A note of appreciation, and email of thanks, a kind word for work well done, recognition of any kind, is a gift that helps other women own their brilliance, and it will make you feel good too.
As a final thought, this city slicker would like to say thank you for all you do for the Ag industry. You keep food on our tables, or help people who do, and you pave the way for other women to know and believe that a career in agriculture is important and rewarding, even when the work is hard. If anyone is up for the task, it’s you!
Let us know your thoughts or experiences on this topic in the comments below!