This weekend I had the great pleasure of working with women veterans interested in farming and ranching through the Farmer Veteran Coalition’s second annual Empowering Women Veterans Conference. As a non-veteran and a displaced farm girl in the city, I was more than slightly out of my element. So on the final night of the conference, I finally had a chance to do what a lot of women in agriculture do best – encourage others!
Walking from the reception (where Farm Credit & the FVC expressed excitement about the Homegrown by Heroes project), we passed through 4th Street Live in Louisville. (And by the way, I’ve never felt so safe in my life than walking down a dark street with a group of strong warriors, even when passersby heckled us.) As we walked by a well-known cowboy bar, one woman said, “Hey, I wanna ride the bull in there.” Well, OK!
It didn’t take much convincing to have others join us around the bull ring. While the woman may have been nervous about her goal, I noticed a few things:
- A woman who stands by what she says will impress and influence those around her. (A conference presenter actually shared this by highlighting her “Acta Non Verba Youth Urban Farm Project,” stressing actions, not words, are what matter.)
- By sharing a goal, a woman provides herself a chance to be encouraged by her peers. Others may get so wrapped up in empowering her that they may join in! (I promised not to name names.)
- “Taking the bull by the horns” doesn’t necessarily have to be literal but a person does have to start somewhere. Rome wasn’t built in a day, the pyramids didn’t appear overnight…every dream can become reality if the vision is put in motion.
I learned so much from the women who attended this conference and am so proud of all they have achieved and all they hope to accomplish as beginning farmers/ranchers growing and raising food for our nation.