Never Underestimate a Woman in Boots

By Kilah Hemesath, Marketing Intern, Latham Hi-Tech Seeds

“Being a woman in agriculture means being a minority in an industry I am passionate about. It means proving that I am just as hardworking, dedicated and experienced as the next guy,” says Danisha Pladsen, from Shellsburg, Iowa.

Founded in 2013 to update the image of agriculture to include women through imagery, FarmHer has become a multi-faceted source of inspiration and connection for women in all types of agriculture. FarmHer gives women in agriculture the chance to connect, inspire, communicate and gain knowledge, while becoming successful leaders in agriculture.

Agriculture is built on the foundation of farmers around the world filled with hard work, persistence and determination. I grew up on a grain and livestock farm with four brothers. My brothers and parents served as role models while I was growing up and they continue to do so. They helped me discover my interest in agriculture and taught me to never let the “status quo” affect my goals.

While attending Iowa State, I’ve been able to meet and become close friends with students who share my same interest. It is rewarding to meet other females who share my love for agriculture as I do. I would classify these ladies as FarmHer’s ready to achieve their goals.

FarmHer is hosting an inaugural “Grow by Future” event on Friday, October 13, at the FFA Enrichment Center in Ankeny. The event will include a variety of topics including STEM, producer’s perspectives and international agenda. The agenda includes presentations by several Iowa women who have blazed trails in agriculture include: Dr. Wendy Wintersteen, Endowed Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Iowa State University: Iowa Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds; and Franklin County (Iowa) farmer April Hemmes, who has been a full-time farmer in Franklin County for more than 30 years.

In honor of tomorrow’s #Grow15 event, I found it appropriate to share the story of two FarmHers I have met at Iowa State University. Andee Hammen, a junior at Iowa State University majoring in Agricultural Communications, shares a similar passion for agriculture. She says, “I am blessed to have the opportunity to grow up on a farm and someday I hope to transition into operating the family farm alongside my father.”

Being a FarmHer has given Hammen the chance to find her passion and strive to turn her dream into a reality. She has been actively involved in her farming operation back home in Jolley, Iowa, ever since she was young. Involvement in 4-H and FFA helped further her interest and provided her with opportunities to reach her goals as a FarmHer.

Pladsen has a goal of returning to her family farm, raising cattle and starting a soil sampling business. It’s easy to see Pladsen’s passion for agriculture when she talks about her new heifer.

“Most students might want a new car or house accessory for their graduation gift,” Pladsen said. “When I received my registered shorthorn heifer, I was overwhelmed with excitement. This is my chance to start my herd and live the dream.”

For more information on FarmHer, visit the group’s Facebook page and get involved!

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