Welcome to the FarmHer Blog!  

Here is where I share the stories behind the images. Take a few minutes to learn more about the FarmHers, their operations, and their way of life. 

Future FarmHer Around the World | Shannon Hoyle

July 08, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

Where did you travel to?

Nine other students and I traveled to Rio de Janeiro and Lucas Do Rio Verge, Brazil for a Business Development Travel Course through the Iowa State University Agricultural Entrepreneurship Initiative. We were helping an Iowa based company to see if it was feasible to expand their operation into Brazil.

What's your background in agriculture?

Although I did not grow up on a farm, agriculture has always been an important part of my life. I showed cattle through 4-H, and was always bugging my uncle and family friends to get out of the house and go to their farm. I am now going into my senior year at Iowa State University majoring in Public Service and Administration in Agriculture with a minor in Entrepreneurial Studies.

What is the most interesting agriculture industry you saw on your trip?

Lucas Do Rio Verge, Brazil is located in the state of Mato Grosso. Mato Grosso is comparable to the United State’s Midwest. Much of this state is very rural and a lot of towns were established because of very large farms outside of the towns. These large farms are required by the government to provide housing for the workers and their families. Some even have schools, soccer fields, and areas for families to hang out. The workers and their families are fed right on the farm with much of the produce coming from a large garden.

Why are you a FarmHer and what does agriculture mean to you?

I am a FarmHer because I am actively trying to make my mark in the ever-changing agriculture industry. I am constantly soaking up and experiencing all that Iowa State University, my professors, and my peers can teach me, so when I graduate, I can go out into the world prepared to agvocate and positively contribute to the agriculture sector. Agriculture, is indeed a passion and a way of life, but is also an area with a lot of opportunities – especially for young people.

Shannon Hoyle in BrazilShannon Hoyle in Brazil next to corn


Future FarmHer Around the World | Logan Worden

July 08, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

Where are you traveling? 

The bottom of the world, aka Antarctica 

What’s your background in agriculture? 

I grew up on my family's dairy farm in Northeast Iowa, where I developed a strong passion for all things agricultural oriented. I was fortunate enough to be involved in great FFA and 4-H programs, which helped lead me to Iowa State University to pursue a degree in Agricultural Communications. 

What is the most interesting agriculture industry you have seen on your trip?  

This trip was focused on non-traditional agriculture since we traveled to a more desolate place because of the climate. Being able to witness penguins, seals and whales in their natural habitat is indescribable. The scenery down there is so extremely beautiful and I hope to go back one day. 

Why are you a FarmHer and what does agriculture mean to you? 

To me, agriculture is the backbone of our country and the future of where we are going. Being part of this ride is the only place that I want to be and being a FarmHer makes it even sweeter because of how farm women have come in this industry. 

What are some of the similarities you seen amongst women in ag around the globe? 

All the ladies that I have seen are extremely hard working in all of their crafts, whether that be taking care of the land, animals or their families. 

Logan Worden in Antartica Logan Worden in Antartica with penguins


Future FarmHer Around the World | Caitlyn Brandt

July 08, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

Where are you traveling? 

I traveled to Hong Kong and Guangzhou, Xi'an, and Beijing in mainland China for two weeks with a group of SDSU students and professors. 

What's your background in agriculture?

I grew up on a diversified farm in South Dakota. We raise pigs, cattle, corn, beans, and some wheat and alfalfa. Up until a few years ago we had a farrow-to-finish hog operation. Now, we custom finish pigs for the sow farm my family has shares in. 

Before starting at SDSU, I thought I was going to be a teacher. And although I was involved in 4-H and showed pigs and sheep, I never really though of agriculture as a career. But midway through my first semester, I missed the farm and everything that came with it. It was definitely one of my best decisions I've made. 

What is the most interesting agriculture industry you've seen on your trip?

The United States and China are very dependent on each other, yet their culture, lifestyle and agricultural practices are vastly different. In China, their crop farms are extremely small, 1/6 of an acre small, and the majority of all work is still done by hand. Even with small farms and limited access to machinery, China ranks number one in the world in both corn and pig production. 

We visited a fish farm, a large beef feedlot, a dairy processing plant, a soybean crushing facility, a fruit and vegetable market, a fish market, a meat market and a local FarmHer along with other agribusinesses. 

I really liked visiting with the local FarmHer. While her husband works construction in the city and both her son and daughter work in the city, she takes care of their 3/4 of an acre of farmland. On her farm, she grew wheat, corn, cherries and walnuts. She does use some machinery, but not like the machinery used in the US. In China, the machinery is small like four row planters and three row combines. 

I am extremely grateful for the experiences I had in China. However, I am glad that I live in the US and the Midwest. 

Why are you a FarmHer and what does agriculture mean to you? 

I am a FarmHer, not only because it's in blood but because it's my passion. I want to share my passion for agriculture with those that don't live on the farm and don't understand the importance of agriculture in their daily lives.

Brandt in China


Future FarmHer Around the World | Stephanie McMillian & Kendra Kehrli

July 08, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

Stephanie and Kendra were both in Europe and share their story: 

Stephanie McMillian:

Where are you traveling?

I traveled to Sweden for a four week study abroad. 

What is your background in agriculture?

I grew up on an acreage on the edge of town.  My dad is a veterinarian and I was active in 4-H and FFA.  Participating in the World Food Prize solidified my plans to go into agriculture.  

What is the most interesting agriculture industry you have seen on your trip?

The most interesting industry was the canola fields in full bloom.  They were a beautiful vibrant yellow.  

Why are you a FarmHer and what does agriculture mean to you? 

I am a FarmHer because I want to change the public's perception on agriculture.  I want consumers to be knowledgeable about where their food come from and how it is produced.  Agriculture to me means a network of people working together in various ways to feed the world.  

  Stephanie McMillian in Sweeden

Kendra Kehrli:

Where did you travel?

I was in a 4-week program with 15 other students; we traveled to Poland, Lithuania, and Czech Republic.

What's your background in agriculture?

I live on a farrow to finish hog farm; but we also are very diversified from chickens, rabbits, sheep, calves, a pony, and even a donkey. I have also been actively involved in 4-H and FFA for countless years, and I served as the 2013 Iowa Pork Princess. 

What is the most interesting agriculture industry you saw on your trip?

The most interesting agriculture industry I saw on my trip was an Apply Orchard Farm. It was family owned and produced millions of pounds of apples per year; we started the tour of the farm at the apple nursery farm, then to the apple farm, to the picking equipment, to the apple sorting building, and finally to the boxing and warehouse stage. It was quite and experience!

Why are you a FarmHer and what does agriculture mean to you?

I am a FarmHer because my ultimate goal is to fill the disconnect that stands between consumer and farmer. Agriculture is and will always be an important role in my life; this is a place where opportunities are endless, and where I will be able grow both in my personal life and professional career.

Kendra's group in Eurpoe


Future FarmHer Around the World | Bay Boysen

July 08, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

Where did you travel to? 

I am interning with the Earth Program through Iowa State University in St. John U.S. Virgin Island, located in the Caribbean Sea. As an intern, I am teaching children about sustainable agriculture in the Gifft High School (GHS). My focus is on teaching food production, plant-based environmental sciences, and advocating for agriculture. I am providing healthy,
locally grown food to the GHS community while using outdoor environments for students to learn and work to better their agricultural skills.

What's your background in agriculture?

I am a fifth generation farmer who grew up on a diversified family farm outside of Columbus Jct., Iowa. We raise hogs, cattle, sheep, and grain.

What is the most interesting agriculture industry you have seen on your trip?

Background: St John's main industry is tourism, the steep mountain slopes are not very good for cultivation. Therefore, agriculture practices are done on a much smaller scale.  One of my favorite examples of this a local produce farm called
Josephine's Greens. Josephine (a great example of a FarmHer) (Great photo of Josephine on this website:
(http://blog.kathrynwagner.com/photographic-series/new-gallery-up-on-the-website-josephines-greens/) moved to St. John from Malaysia in the mid 80's where she managed large plantations.  Currently, they grow over 90 varieties of vegetables, tropical fruits, and herbs on their 18 acres.  Josephine's Greens have become a staple in local markets and are in demand from top restaurant chefs who place their order months in advance. In addition to produce, they also supply much of the island's landscaping needs with tropical plants, trees and flowers.

Why are you a FarmHer and what does agriculture mean to you?

I am a woman who has been active in the agriculture industry since I was able to pick up a scoop shovel and check cows with Grandpa. I want to continue our farming family tradition and give my children the same experiences and opportunities I had by getting my hands dirty in the field. My degree in horticulture has given me a better understanding of food production to feed our growing population. I love to advocate for this wonderful industry and showing the many beautiful aspects of a FarmHer.

Bay Boysen in the USVIBay Boysen in the USVI

 

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