A Salute to Women in Agriculture - The Ladies of the Sherrard FFA

Ann Weber

Please give a little background about yourself (specifically your agricultural background).

I am a 3rd generation farmer in Mercer County where we raise both row and cover crops. Along with crops, my father has a cow-calf commercial herd, and I am a Simmental and Angus breeder where I am striving to start my own show cattle operation. Animal involvement is where my heart is and when my parents decided to care for 3 sites of wean to finish swine confinements I was all about it. I take significant pride into our swine operation and hope to continue it. My parents have also dedicated time to take on a business of manufacturing feed for any type of animal.

Describe your involvement in FFA/4-H.

I started 4-H in 2006 as a cloverbud in the club, Country Kids. I was and still am active in general and livestock sections of 4-H. I have showed various breeds of cattle, sheep and participated in cooking, woodworking, and crops at both the county and state level. My favorite part of 4-H is showmanship. I have been awarded the Master Showman of Mercer County the last two years where I represent us at the state level. I thoroughly enjoy 4-H, but the blue corduroy jacket is my true passion. My four years in the chapter have been rocky, but with true dedication and pride it's been fantastic and wouldn't change it for the world. With grit from all the advisors I've had, they got me to where I want to be. I was graciously voted by section members to represent our thirteen schools in section 3. Not only have I had many successes, but so has my chapter. I know I will never forget where I came from. We may not be the most successful chapter, but we’re family and that's the most important. My chapter truly has shaped me into the person I am today. The 2017-2018 officer team is truly trying to leave an impact on the members involved. I love working with all generations of kids, educating and involving them on what our agricultural industry is today.  

What are your plans after high school?

After graduating from Sherrard High School in 2018, I plan to attend Black Hawk East College in Kewanee, Illinois in the Ag transfer program.  I want to then transfer to Oklahoma State to major in Agricultural Sales and minor in Animal Science. I want my future career to consist of me working for a company selling products for animals.

How do you think women have impacted agriculture?

We as women have impacted agriculture with our opinions. Women that I’m surrounded by and myself are not afraid to express our opinion on any situation. We want our story told, we want people how much blood, sweat, and tears go into the passion we have for agriculture. There's no other woman made that isn't so dedicated to multiple aspects of life. The agricultural ladies are the ones that spend countless hours on the job, patient with the husband and children, and stay up late at night making sure everything is prepared for the next day. The agriculture lady is the one dropping everything at any moment to help another. Yes I may be involved in the agriculture industry, but I don't describe myself as an agricultural lady yet. But a goal to become one is in the books, and I hope to become a FarmHer and show others how we work our butts off producing food, marketing and selling agriculture products, and all other aspects of our god made agriculture industry.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

In the next 10 years, I hope to be working for a company selling products to advance animal health. I also hope after graduating from Oklahoma State that I am able to stay there and live and start my own family operation in the south. Visiting the south yearly, I fell in love with it. I hope I am able to and truly can make a difference no matter where I end up in ten years.

 

Tristin Lukaszewski

Please give a little background about yourself (specifically your agricultural background).

I grew up in the city of Davenport not knowing anything about farming, but I was raised around horses and working in the barn cleaning stalls, feeding horses, taking care of them, etc.

Describe your involvement in FFA/4-H

I am the chapter Treasurer, and I try to be involved in FFA as much as I can. I’ve been involved in many activities in FFA such as horse judging, forestry, soils, parades, etc. I’m also very involved in planning FFA parties, getting students to be more active, and trying to come up with ways to help the Sherrard FFA chapter.                                                                          

What are your plans after high school?

I want to be a fighter pilot in the Air Force or Navy. But if that doesn’t work, I want to be an Ag teacher and help get kids and teens involved in FFA.

How do you think women have impacted agriculture?

Women’s roles in agriculture have increased drastically in the past 40 years. People used to think it was a man's job to tend to the farm, animals, etc. but not anymore. You see women working in the fields, tending to the animals and the crops and you also see them helping in every job on the farm.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

I see myself either in the cockpit of a United States Air Force jet or in the classroom teaching kids about agriculture and machines.

 

Vanessa Bucher

Please give a little background about yourself (specifically your agricultural background).

I grew up on a horse farm and we used to board other people’s horses. We still have horses but we no longer board horses, and now we produce and bail hay. I used to barrel race around the state, and I am a part of the New Windsor Drill Team.

Describe your involvement in FFA/4-H.

I have been a part of FFA for four years, and I have taken part in many CDE’s including Forestry, agronomy, Veterinary science, horse judging and horse riding. I have been successful with horse judging, getting fifth in state this year and Veterinary science. I am also a member of the Saddle Teens 4-H club and 4-H Federation. I have led other 4-Hers, and I help to teach them about horse judging and leadership. I have taken part in horse bowl and hippology competitions, and I usually am very successful at them. I have also taught other 4-H clubs about parliamentary procedure, which is how we run meetings, with Federation. I help put on the 4-H Chili Cook-off that we have every year to raise money for a good cause.

What are your plans after high school?

I plan on going straight into college after high school, and I have already applied and been offered admission into Iowa State University. I plan on going there to get my pre-veterinary education, and my doctorate in Veterinary medicine so I may save animals lives. I will be in college from 6-8 years depending on if I get into the Veterinary College before I get a bachelor's.

How do you think women have impacted agriculture?

Women have impacted agriculture in so many ways that most people don’t think about it. Many women run family farms financially and sometimes they are the ones who run the entire farm. Women have studied types of pesticides, seeds, and fertilizers and made breakthroughs. Many Veterinarians are women and they make a difference in every animal they have taken care of and saved, and every farm they work for because there are fewer illnesses in animals that they cared for.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

In 10 years, I will be graduated with a doctorate in veterinary medicine and working for a veterinary clinic and trying to learn all I can from the clinic. I hope to be saving animals’ lives and raising their quality of life. I will be visiting farms to help them out because I will be a large animal Veterinarian, and I will be advising them on vaccination plans, evaluating herd health, and more.

 

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