A few months ago, as I headed to town, the dirt road had my mind wandering and an idea hit me. I thought of the days spent horseback alone, unseen and undocumented when nothing exciting happens, but the day is perfect, even if no one else ever hears about it. I thought about the hours spent in the tractor baling hay and the long winter months spent flaking it off to cows. I thought of the days when the cows calve and things go right or when things go wrong and it all goes unnoted. I thought of the tears shed for a favorite horse lost and tears shed for the first steps of a newborn calf. I thought of the pride and heartbreak on shipping day when a year’s worth of work comes full circle. I thought of the lines on my face and the scars on my hands and the stories they tell. From my thoughts came the idea to tell the stories of the countless ranch women in Nevada whose stories have never been told.
We see her sometimes, honored for events she attends in town or acknowledged for being part of meetings or memberships. But more than we know, her story goes untold. Her day to day life is nothing exciting to speak of to those in the outside world. To her and her family and the ranch she calls home, those day to day events are everything. Sometimes she is the main operator and sometimes she is the second in a partnership. She is often her husband’s right hand, performing the duties of teacher, doctor, veterinarian, banker, accountant, secretary, decorator, irrigator, cowboy, horse trainer or heavy equipment operator. Some jobs are seasonal while at other times these things seem to happen all at once.
In my opinion her story needs to be told. Historically, people in agriculture have been a private group, not sharing the details of their lives preferring to keep their business to themselves. Now more than ever people need to understand the back ground of those who grow their food. The words “factory farms” are used all too often, removing the human element from the story of agriculture. My goal, my hope, is to share the human element from the woman’s perspective.
My idea is to share the story of a new woman each month. There will be a feature article in a couple of different places as well and those will be announced as they come. I am very honored to have the platform for the stories I know you'll love. I am excited to learn from these women as I put their words and thoughts together and collaborate with them on their story.
Her words, her story, coming to you soon!