I’m probably about to get myself into some hot water…but it’s not the first time, and certainly not the last. So let me give my two cents:
If you haven’t heard, or if you’re not from the state of North Dakota, there’s a political race happening that seems to have piqued some interest. The Republican nomination for North Dakota Ag Commissioner has someone running against the incumbent. Namely, Judy Estenson has announced that she is running against incumbent Doug Goehring.
As any race, having a choice is a good thing. Having to defend your decisions and answer to someone every once in awhile is a good thing. That’s how real life works, and the same should be especially true in the political world.
So let’s make the race about what it should really be about…choices, visions and beliefs, not gender.
You see, agriculture shouldn’t have a ceiling, especially not a glass one. We make up less than 2 percent of the population. We value our property, our crops, our families and our standards. We need a strong spokesperson for our future…no matter the prefix to their name.
One of the first comments that I heard regarding the race announcement was, “Yes, but what does she know about farming?”
What does a woman know about farming? Ranching? I guess it would depend on the woman. I know that I don’t know nearly as much as I would like, but I’m always asking questions and would love to learn more. In fact, I do believe that I could drive Boss Man completely bonkers with my questions most days.
But let me tell you that my gender has little to do with my ability to know how to serve the public, how to delegate, how to serve as a spokesperson for other families, just like my own.
Last week I was in DC, going through some different training and using the opportunity to serve at a Ronald McDonald House. One of the ladies, during an icebreaker session, simply said to me, “Do you introduce yourself as a farmer?”
And the answer is a simple yes.
As I told Boss Man the other night, “If I’m not a farmer, then I’ll enjoy a few more hours of sleep, because I won’t need to worry about going out for calf checks.”
Having the passion and the ability to make a difference in agriculture has nothing to do with how you dress, what you wear or what it takes to get ready in the morning. It has everything to do with how you speak, where your heart lies and whether or not you’re willing to stand up for what’s right for agriculture, not just what’s right for you.
The reason I love agriculture? All the fresh air…which means, there’s not a ceiling to be found…not even a glass one.