Like many others in the agriculture industry, Marji Guyler-Alaniz was inspired by the 2013 SuperBowl Dodge Ram commercial featuring a famous Paul Harvey speech, “So God Made a Farmer.”
Then, she read an article about the commercial that presented it in a slightly different light. Even though there were women in the commercial, Harvey always uses the pronoun “he” describing the farmer and concludes a farmer’s job is well-done “when his son says he wants to spend his life doing what dad does.”
“How did I never realize that!” was Guyler-Alaniz’s reaction.
She also contemplated the surprised reaction many give when they learn that 31% of women are the primary operator on U.S. farms.
“It shouldn’t be that way,” she says.
So Guyler-Alaniz, who was already an avid photographer, set about to document farm women doing real work on the farm in a project called FarmHer. Today, FarmHer has grown to include female farmer stories and photos, and an online community where female farmers can connect with one another. And in November, she is heading up Grow by Future FarmHer, a one day event in Iowa meant to inspire future female farmers and ag professionals ages 15-23. The event is already sold out.
“I want to inspire women farmers,” she says. “If you consider what you do to be important, then others will consider what you do important. And updating the image of agriculture to include women is my No. 1 goal always. My focus at this point is to show the depth of women in agriculture. The operations, size, type, geography and roles women play are so diverse.”
Guyler-Alaniz will also be sharing her experiences this December at the 2015 Top Producer Executive Women in Agriculture conference in Chicago. Her presentation will feature stunning photos and stories of women she says are redefining the face of agriculture.
Click here to register for the 2015 EWA conference. For more information about FarmHer, visit www.FarmHer.com.