“Please never stop believing that fighting for what is right is worth it.” – Hillary Clinton
Those words resonated with me as I watched Hillary Clinton’s concession speech via Facebook last week. Regardless of your opinion about her, Hillary always appeared to be passionate, and I applaud her for that. Sometimes when you’re working towards a goal that you believe is right and you are continually being whacked with challenges ad nauseam, taking a break and easing off seems like the answer.
Don’t do it. Please, for the sake of women everywhere, don’t give up.
The other message she shared that I appreciated and will continue to echo is her message to young women:
“To all the little girls who are watching this, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve your own dreams.”
I have spoken before about how women, specifically women in agriculture, need to unite and build each other up as we work towards equal representation at the table. We have come a long way in the past few decades, as the role of women in the home and workplace has changed, and have finally elbowed our way to the front of the crowd so that we can be seen and heard. We come from all kinds of cloth – stay at home moms who watch the kids and cook harvest meals, work from home moms (that’s me!), women who run the farm/ranch on their own, corporate women climbing the ladder, single women fighting the hustle and bustle – we are all in it together, for better or worse. Tearing each other down over trivial things only rips us apart, rather than binding us together. We cannot allow ourselves to give in to the trifling differences between us and instead must focus on our common goals:
- Equality in the job force
- A seat at the table
- Our voices to be heard
Do you want to be on a panel at your state Farm Bureau event? Call the communications director and see if there are opportunities for your participation. Don’t like how the fair in your county is being ran? Attend a fair board meeting and share your ideas – better yet, run for a spot when elections come around. Have a strong desire to be involved in the beef/swine/sheep industry in your state? Do some research on young producer programs or express interest in your local county board. These opportunities aren’t always heavily advertised but seek and ye shall find.
Perhaps one of the most important aspects of getting involved is paying your dues and showing up to conventions. Jennifer Latze at the High Plains Journal has written a wonderful piece about how important it is for the next generation to find a way to get involved and I fully echo her sentiment. Last week, I attended a Leadership Round Table for our state livestock association. I try to attend these events whenever possible because it gives me a chance to voice my opinion, hear what is going on in our state legislature and meet up with other farmers and ranchers. At this meeting there were roughly 30 people, and young producers constituted about six faces in the crowd. I have previously written about the importance of showing up and it couldn’t ring more true today – although it was nowhere near half, I am glad I wasn’t the only young person, especially young woman, in the group speaking about my concerns with the beef industry and what lies ahead. I felt extremely welcome, and I know my voice was heard and appreciated. Know why? Because I showed up.
Change happens in every industry. It will continue to happen in agriculture and just like the droves of rural, blue-collar voters that made their voice heard in the election last week, you too can make your voice heard at the county, state and national level by showing up and fighting for what you believe is right. You may be met with opposition and challenges, but don’t falter in the face of adversity. Trudge on and make your voice heard. Little girls are watching how we behave, drive forward and push for change and representation. Inspire your nieces, daughters, granddaughters, cousins, sisters and friends to break through walls and not look back. Do it for Susan B. Anthony. Do it for Ida B. Wells. Do it for yourself.
Until next time,
~ Buzzard ~
This post is not an endorsement for or against any political candidate – who I voted for is irrelevant. The views expressed her are mine alone and are not representative of any agriculture organization. I will not tolerate hateful comments on this post, or any blog post on my site, and reserve the right to delete comments if they are inappropriate.
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