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Erica Louder

Erica Louder is a farmer, mother, parts runner, veterinarian’s wife, lending professional and ag educator … not necessarily in that order, but then it depends on which day you ask. Her Outside Eden blogs help us look at everyday rural life and conversations with fresh perspective and a little humor.

LATEST

March was Women’s History Month, and as a woman and a lover of history, I fully engage in the celebration of our vibrant and remarkable history. A social media post from popular blogger Carrie Mess – author of Dairy Carrie – reminded me not to forget about the history of women in agriculture. This got me thinking about how women in agriculture shaped my history.

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Despite the labor pains of farming, a farmer eagerly lines up to experience it again and again, season after season.

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It is like describing a car to a caveman – there is just not a point of reference to build common ground. There is nothing else like experiencing a total solar eclipse.

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This year, when my husband began spouting off the old Farmers Almanac adage of “knee-high by the Fourth of July” to describe our corn crop, this history buff had to do some research. A Google search of that phrase brought up a couple of thousand links.

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For as long as there have been farmers there have been farm wives. And today, we are not just farm wives; many of us are farmers in our own right. In an occupation where work, family and lifestyle are so impossibly intermingled, a female farmer faces a unique set of challenges.

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My granddad’s favorite way to describe his “spare tire” was that he had a bad case of “water on the belly.” Now certainly, this was not a physiologically accurate diagnosis, but people understood what he meant. Grandpa’s extra 15 pounds he put on most winters settled right on his gut.

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