Who says that girls can't farm? We have never placed that idea in our daughters' heads. According to the National FFA blog, the number of farms operated by women in the U.S. have doubled since 1978. "Across the country nearly 300,000 women serve as principal operators on 62.7 million acres of farm and ranchland, accounting for 12.9 billion in farm products in 2012." (source)
The above quote makes me wonder, were these women actively involved in agriculture when they were younger? During their most influential ages? I often ask myself if the love for farming is an inherited trait or something that is learned. Is it something that will be passed down from my husband and me to our daughters or is it something that they will learn from working beside us?
Brad and I both grew up on farms, so we have been around agriculture since we were babies and we still live and breath it every single day. Some of the best memories from my childhood were when I would help my dad with the hogs on our farm. I always jumped at the chance to help him with the hogs. My family also has a dairy farm. One of my brother's responsibilities on the farm was to feed the young calves. When it was spring or harvest and he was busy in the fields, It was my job to feed the calves. My family jokes that at this point, I was a "fair weather farmer." If it was raining, I wouldn't feed because I knew that my brother would be able to do it as he wouldn't be in the fields!;)
Most of Brad's younger days were spent working beside his dad and grandpa on the farm. He may have even played hookie from school to help with field work;)
And that is why I wonder if it is inherited or learned. Are the things we experienced when we were younger what developed our love for farming?
We live on a beef and grain farm and currently feed about 150 head of beef cattle. The process of our feeding is a little to "complex" for our 8, 5, and 1 year olds.
We try to keep the girls involved in the farm life as much as we can by letting them be involved in "rookie" 4-h. Last year they had pigs, this year we are trying dairy.
As much as we would love to see them inherit our love for the farm, we know that it may not always happen. Whether they inherit the farming "gene" or not, we are trying to teach them the love for agriculture.
I am participating in Indiana's Family of Farmer's Table Talk. While I did receive a gift for this article, all opinions are mine.