I have a feeling that many women on the farm don’t overthink gender stereotypes and equitable division of labor, because everyone is expected to pitch in and lend a hand. That is probably why our Aggies students (many coming from traditional “ag” backgrounds) feel more comfortable taking that metaphorical seat at the table.
As we sat eating pizza on our last night in town, I asked everyone to go around the table and tell me their “dream job.” Answers ranged from becoming a veterinarian, to a nutritionist for NCBA, to helping alleviate hunger and conserving natural resources through environmental sustainability advancements – quite lofty pursuits for dream jobs.
It excited me to hear those responses because I think that our Aggies are just the group of women to achieve their dream jobs. But more than that, I walked away from our journey comforted by the fact that these driven young leaders would one day be at the helm of our industry.
I know these students were as inspired as I was by their time in Arkansas. And I hope they took to heart Sara Lilygren’s parting thought after her brief time with the Aggies: “Don’t ever let anyone tell you you can’t have it all.”
So to Megan, Kasie, Rebecca, Kate, Nikki and Nicole, thanks for a great week. And in the words of Ms. Sandberg: “I hope you find true meaning, contentment and passion in your life. I hope you navigate the difficult times and come out with greater resolve. I hope you find whatever balance you seek with your eyes wide open. And I hope that you have the ambition to lean in to your career and run the world. Because the world needs you to change it. Women all over the world are counting on you.”
And agriculture is counting on you, too.
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