Tuesday, February 7, 2012

October Farmer Fred Award-Why Do Rural Women Rock?

October brought change to our farmstead. We built a farm building. It was a very big decision. We were encouraged by our dear son-in-law, Wishek Nathan, who just happens to be in the building material business. He took the project on as if it was his own for which we are humbly grateful. We couldn't have done it without him. We recommend 
Pinke Lumber in Wishek, North Dakota without reservation.
The October Farmer Fred Award Runner-up is

I had a unique opportunity to write a blog post for a new blog titled Rural Women Rock. 
Farmer Fred liked the post. What more is there to say?
The October Farmer Fred Award is presented to:

Why do Rural Women Rock?
originally published October 12, 2011

Today I am publishing a post that will be published on a new blog called Rural Women Rock. I am excited about the inclusive potential of this idea. Somewhere in your family history, there is a strong rural woman and I don't care who you are or where you live. So here is my GriggsDakota 
Welcome to Rural Women Rock.

Hello, I am Jane, the author of GriggsDakota, a blog about life on our farm in North Dakota. I am married to Farmer Fred and the mother of four adult children. I was born and raised here. Although I lived in a nearby town for 25 years, I have been back for nearly 15 years and my husband and I have farmed with my family since the early 1980's. Okay, so you are adding it up and yes, I am a much older than average blogger.
My daughter, Kirsti, pictured with me above, started GriggsDakota in May of 2009 as part of her college summer internship. I took over in August of that year when she returned to school.
 I started blogging to tell about our farm from a first hand perspective. Farming has changed a great deal from what many Americans have in their minds as farmer and the farm life. Both art and science, farming is increasingly technical, which is also true in the rest of the world. I believe that what we do is reasonable, sustainable, and good. My family has been here for over 120 years and the land is more productive than ever. That has not happened by accident. We feel responsible to take very good care of our farm and hope that it will remain productive for as long as people on the earth need to eat. I also believe that we have a responsibility to love what is ours, our family, our business, our farm, our country. I need no better reason than this is ours to care for. It is a difficult message to convey to others who have no background or experience with a farm and how it works. Publishing the posts on the Internet means anyone who is interested can gather insight into the life we live here.
I once flippantly told my daughter, Katie Pinke pictured above with her daughters, that I blog and "tell our farm story so that Katie Couric doesn't have to." She has repeated that a number of times, and while I mean no disrespect, there is still truth in that statement. We need educated, committed, trustworthy farmers to raise food for the world.  I give my children credit for inspiring me to use computers and technology, although I am no expert. The blog has been an interesting way to communicate with family and friends who have a connection to the area, as well as strangers who are interested in our way of farming. Our region is unique in its climate, allowing us to grow a wide variety of crops which provides opportunities to teach about many different grains and processes. 
So back to the burning question:  Why do Rural Women Rock? 
In a word, the answer is confidence. 
Rural life builds confidence. 
My family came to America on boats from Norway. My parents grew up as neighbors here in GriggsDakota. Click Here for a bit of family history on a strong farm woman, my great grandmother. Rural women rock because they are taught to handle what comes their way. Life is not one thing. Rural life is diverse, but I believe our farm in GriggsDakota, as well as most other rural settings provide the opportunity to build confidence in girls and women. Gender differences melt away when there is grain to be harvested, livestock to be tended, work to be done. Rural women learn to try new things, that failure can lead to success, and that hard times can be temporary. 
Iris, my great aunt, is 106 years old. Rural women have a purpose at every age.
Rural Women Rock and we need each other. Whatever your age, I believe that interested women everywhere can find a connection through Rural Women Rock. The confidence that it takes to be a Rural Woman can make a positive difference in your life. Food, fiber, flowers, motherhood-everyone has a mother, aging-lucky people get old, and more tie us to the rural landscape of this world. Although we celebrate women who are working farmers, you don't have to drive a tractor or raise livestock to be rural. If you are a woman, eat, and wear clothing, you qualify as a Rural Woman. Oh and by the way...

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