Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Gold Standard of Farmwives

Every year, I have been told, Monsanto honors the Mom of the Year. I read the criteria, upon receiving an email from a sweet friend (sent to Joe, but I still read it), and hoped that Joe would consider me worthy of this coveted title. . . well, mostly I wanted to win the money to pay for my landscaping project and maybe a new patio set, but whatever. Anyway, I checked the Monsanto website and read up on the finalists, and holy moly. . . I have a LOT to live up to.


These women are not just hauling food and kids around! They're keeping the books, driving the tractors, hauling the grain, all while leading 4H clubs and youth groups and volunteer organizations and making their own jam. So it got me to thinking, am I really a farm wife? Am I really doing all I can as a part of this operation?

I took a minute to see how the women in my family took part on the farm for the past few generations, as one of the nominees credited that she was a third generation farm wife. . . well, I'm at LEAST a four generation one. . . why can't I make jam? Seriously, the women in our family farm operation have not been the tractor driving kind, but they have a HUGE job on the farm. To this day, my almost 96 year old grandma keeps the record books for my uncle's operation. My paternal grandma wrote all the checks, all the time. My mom signs her life away on a regular basis on equipment and land loans. If you don't think that's love. . . try signing off on a HUGE chunk of cash, and have the banker mention that if it's not paid up, the "assets will be seized." Yargh.

Anyway, I appreciate and am really amazed at the women honored by Monsanto, so don't take this the wrong way, but where are the women who are keeping it all together while doing things "non farmy?" All the women honored had amazing credentials in agri business, livestock management, and crop science. But where were the teachers, nurses, and business women who keep their kids in line, men happy (through regular feedings. . .this I know for sure!), and lives in order on the homefront? Where was the stay at home mom who is helping to raise the kids, shuttling them to and from school, playdates, church functions, all while trying to keep a garden, nice home, and trying to live on a shoestring budget?

So it again got me to think, what's Monsanto know about the Gold Standard of Farmwives? Who am I to worry about what a company thinks is the best of the best? I am going to try to get more involved in our operation . .. baby steps, people, I'm not talking about a semi driver's licence, I'm just considering learning how to turn the grain bin fans off. I shouldn't hold myself up to these women because I'm cut from a different mold. My hope is that next year as I read the biographies of these amazing women, I'll have more in common with them. . . and they'll maybe have more in common with me.


  1. The involvement level of the wife is in reverse proportion to the number of males in the operation. Your problem has nothing to do with YOUR qualifications.....there are just tooo many men hanging around your farm. THERE! How's that for getting you off the hook!

  2. Amen Sister! I agree with your thoughts. I am also married to a farmer and work off the farm +try to keep home humming. BTW...tell your Joe, Leah Schleef says Hello!

  3. I agree wholeheartedly- which is why I suggested it to Joe in the first place:) What does Monsanto know anyhow- Chris should be CEO by now- so they obviously struggle with recognizing true talent right away, heh:)) J/k! You do a fabulous job- and what's most important (way more important than Monsanto)- is that your husband and kids think you are their world- and that's the best thing:)))