Jan. 23 2020 02:30 PM

Female farm owners and operators deserve the same respect as their male counterparts.

Maybe I look younger than I actually am. Maybe I don’t look like the “Rodgers.” Maybe I have a sign stuck to my back saying I can’t help you. Or maybe, just maybe, there is still a problem.

I have decided that I am just going to continue writing about the “Chronicles of Caitlin” and my experiences dealing with people in this field of work. It can be rather comical as well as aggravating.

There are some humorous moments. For example, the older papas (yes, that’s what we call all elderly men around here, or at least I do) ask me on a regular basis what do I do for a living. That’s probably because I am often in the local convenience store picking up some goods with my overalls and milking boots on, and they just can’t figure out why in the world I am dressed like that.

They get a response from me like, “I own those lazy girls that moo, eat, and sleep all the time down the road,” and their mind goes “boom.” You can see it all over their faces as if I had lost my mind. To tell you the truth, sometimes I think I have.

I was in another local convenience store around 5:30 in the morning. I was patiently waiting on my biscuit to be made. Two guys a few years younger than me walked up and smirked. They let out a chuckle and said, “Where are you headed with those boots on?”

I said, “Back to my farm to tend to some cows.” They said, “Oh yeah?” They chuckled again, and then said, “I am sure you don’t actually do the work though.”

I grabbed my biscuit and headed toward the door. As I left, I thought to myself, “If they only knew.”

Then, there are less comical moments. Just this week, I had a truck driver stop in with a load of ground corn. He pulled his air brakes outside the freestall barn. One of my employees and I came around the corner to see what was going on, because usually they just drive right over to the commodity shed.

He was walking to the new robot facility about 20 feet directly in front of me. He looked at me, peeped into the window, and then looked back at me. I said, “Can I help you with something?”

He then said, “Boss man in here?” My employee pointed toward me and said, “She’s right here.” The truck driver said, “No, I need to speak to the boss man about my truck load.” At this point I said, “I’ll handle it. What is the problem?”

He took a deep breath and said, “Well, just let him know that I didn’t get a weight before I got loaded, but I’ll get one when I get back to the scales with the empty truck and I’ll have a bill sent out.”

He walked away before I could even say alright. It was ridiculous. I wanted to tell him to take his load and . . . well, never mind. I wouldn’t really do that, but it does make me quite aggravated and a little embarrassed, especially when things like this happen in front of my own employees.

Stepping off my soapbox . . . My girls are happy, healthy, and loving their robots. That is the most important part, and I am blessed.

Caitlin and Mark Rodgers

Mark and Caitlin Rodgers are dairy farmers in Dearing, Georgia. Their “Father and Daughter Dairy Together” column appears every other Thursday on HD Notebook. The Rodgers have a 400-cow dairy that averages 32,000 pounds of milk. Follow their family farm on Facebook at Hillcrest Farms Inc.