Women ‘backbone of agriculture’

  • assuming all genetic relationships equal good working relationships

  • believing the business can financially support all family members who want to join

  • assuming others must change but not me

  • presuming a conversation is a contract

  • believing mind reading is an acceptable form of communication

  • failing to build communication skills and meeting tools when times are good

  • ignoring in-laws and off-farm family members

  • forgetting to use common courtesy

  • having no legal and discussed estate, management and ownership transfer plan

  • neglecting vital facts of fair and equal, failing to celebrate together

CALGARY — Young mothers rocking weeks old infants were among those listening to Krysta Harden speak about how times have changed.

It brought a smile to the face of the vice-president of public policy for DuPont.

“How nice to come to a meeting where babies are welcome,” Harden said during the Advancing Women in Agriculture conference March 6 in Calgary.

Harden said women’s involvement in agriculture is nothing new. 

“What is new is how we value women’s contributions,” she said.

Harden said women for so long have been described as farmers’ wives, when in reality they were as much decision-makers in the operation as their husbands.


“In any other business, they’d be called CFO (chief financial officer), and we call them farm wife. It does not define the role so many women play on the farm,” she said.

And yet agricultural companies still largely depict male farmers in their marketing campaigns.

She encouraged women to support, promote and make room for one another as they rise through careers in agriculture and trade associations, and also consider the plight of women elsewhere in the world.

“In some countries, if the husband dies, the farm goes to the husband’s family,” said Harden.

“Developed countries have a responsibility to them,” she said.


Harden said women bring a different perspective than men, something that must heard throughout the industry, both in the office and field and through the value chain.

“Add your voice to it so the way you make decisions is considered,” said Harden.

Think about adding your chair to the table instead of pushing another woman off of it, she said.

“Women are the backbone of agriculture. There are places to go and people waiting for us to get there.”


  • Harold

    My wife has abilities which exceed mine and her abilities define what a Housewife is in my home. The neighbor woman has abilities that are not necessarily the same as my wife, and therefore the “housewife” next door applies a different meaning to the same term “housewife”. I have abilities which exceed my wife’s abilities and those abilities define husband; and the same occurs with the different husband next door. I cannot husband for what I cannot provide and a wife cannot be a wife to what she cannot provide. With increased knowledge and abilities, so onward changes the definitions of Husband and Wife. (housewife, farm-wife, chef-wife, executive-wife, book-keeper wife, etc) For the abilities that we collectively do not have, we bring in outside persons with those abilities for their help. This same scenario is played out throughout the whole community; 20 wives and 20 different undeniable, correct, and valid definitions. Surely the picture which I have just painted is so incredibly obvious and so un-newsworthy, but to read the Article, one has to assume that no one has ever left their homes in their entire lives. Defining a farmer’s wife is necessary; for whom? Someone who doesn’t understand my incredibly un-newsworthy and ordinary picture?
    One who is not married is not called a wife and neither do they have a husband.
    Advancing Women in Agriculture conference, and the conference language, is part of a feminist social engineering movement agenda aimed at divorcing wives from their husbands. I painted my aforementioned picture deliberately to show that the principals and fundamentals of the term wife to husband and husband to wife are in fact nowhere included in this advancing women agenda. A Woman or a Man who “goes it alone” is in-fact divorced or merely only just co-habiting together. If the agenda had anything at all to do with agriculture, you would see a system designed to increase the abilities of those genderless people willing, and who do farm, to become stronger yet for the sake of Agriculture, and not for the sake of genitalia and victim-hood. Genitalia do not run any farm, nor do genitalia run any equipment: people with ability do, but obviously there are social misfits who believe otherwise. To be clear and yet blunt if I may, a pair of men, pair of women. man and woman, can run a farm with ability, and the ability does not evolve from between their legs, and Advancing Women in Agriculture conference recognizes none of this. “Young mothers rocking weeks old infants” without the fathers, is exactly how Krysta Harden wants them. I am sure that genderless minds will agree. 
An honest approach to Advancing the “genderless” in agriculture would signal what course of action; the dismissal of Krysta Harden?

    • old grouchy

      Good luck in getting traction on your last point. This ‘person’ is a career bureaucrat – – – – one of those ‘I’ve never done any of this but I’m an expert in telling you how to do what I (likely) can’t do. Someone should give her an opportunity to get her own hands dirty – – – be interesting to see what she gets done in 3 years on her own without an unlimited pocket supporting her.