In cartoons and many forms of media, farmers have been portrayed a certain way for a very long time. A man in overalls, a plaid shirt, a hat, a dirty face, and maybe even a piece of straw in his teeth is what I have specifically seen before. All of us involved in agriculture know this is certainly not an accurate image; farmers can be any gender, shape, size, and appearance. However, I still sadly see judgement when it comes to how women look in the dairy industry.
I am definitely not saying that all farmers, women or not, need to dress their best for every chores outing, but it’s time to stop bringing down others for being themselves. The dairy industry does not have an endless number of farmers, and everyone would have a much better time and experience with support from their fellow agriculturalists. If someone wants to wear a particularly fancy winter hat or bundle up in their grungiest poop covered sweatshirt, they should not be judged for what they wear. They should be celebrated for the work they do, day in and day out, to feed our growing world.
Mikayla grew up near Osceola, Wis. She discovered her passion for the dairy industry while working on her neighbors’ Holstein dairy farm. That spurred her involvement in 4-H and FFA, and following graduation from Osceola High School, she headed to the University of Minnesota to pursue a degree in agricultural communication and marketing. During the school year, she worked as a website designer for the University of Minnesota department of animal science, and last summer, she was a farmer relations intern for Midwest Dairy. Peper served as the 2022 Hoard’s Dairyman editorial intern.