Written by: Kassandra Patterson – MyGrandePrairieNow
Since 2019 Katelyn Duban has talked to around 200 women in the agriculture sector on her podcast the Rural Woman.
Duban says one of the biggest questions she has heard is “where are these women coming from,” but she says the better question should be “why haven’t they spoken up before?” According to the southern Alberta Farmer and podcast host these women have always been the backbone of the industry, whether it be working in the field or the home, but now are finding the courage to speak up and share their stories.
“They can use their voice in a positive way for our industry, not only positive amongst each other but positive for the next generation coming forth to say we are strong contenders in this industry, and we belong to be here,” Duban says. “Women typically have a more empathetic way of doing things.”
Duban adds this feeling of empathy helps connect those in the agriculture with the general public and gets them thinking about where their food comes from. This connects consumers with the story behind how their food is grown, or raised.
“They know that the farmers and ranchers out there growing and producing their food do have the love and care for the animals and the land,” Duban says. “Because it is coming from a place of empathy and it is coming from a place of understanding.”
Duban, who describes herself as a city-slicker turned farmer, explains when she originally married into a farming family she had no intention of being part of the day to day operations. However, after being around and immersed in the lifestyle, her plan changed.
“I quickly realized this was an industry I wanted to be a part of, so I learned how to drive a tractor, a swather, and the combine, all of those things and I quit my career to pursue my life in agriculture.”
Coming from an educational background, having worked in a couple of post secondary institutions, Duban says agriculture truly is an all encompassing industry where you give your heart and soul to what you do.
In 2022 Stats Canada released for the first time in thirty years female operated farms across the country saw an increase by 2.3 percent with 79,795. Alberta saw an increase of 4.3 percent with 18,525 across the province.