As a kid growing up on a mixed cattle and grain farm I got to see life come into the world many times - it really is quite a moment that not just anyone gets to experience these days! I rode on an open air combine with my grandpa, baked daily from scratch with my grandma and truly appreciated the importance of family. From working alongside my parents I learned the value and sense of accomplishment that comes at the end of a hard day’s work - so many little moments and valuable life lessons.
Jump ahead a few years to life as a young farm wife and business owner. I quickly became the in house accountant where I learned to navigate budgets and huge dollar values on daily income, expenses and cash flows. Time sensitive daily business decisions revolving around equipment, land, inputs, and financing, communications with various lenders and advisors were part of my day to day.
Taking a farm from around 2000 acres to 8000 acres took a tremendous amount of work and risk. And that doesn't even include the HR aspect of managing employees, working with family (talk about your HR issues there!) cooking meals for crews of 10, and occasionally wearing the hat of combine operator when we were short handed. All while being able to work from home with my three crazy toddler boys, the days were long but the rewards and experience were all worth it.
Fast forward to today. My position at Hebert Grain Ventures has opened up a whole new side of agriculture to me. I am back as part of a completely different farm team that brings me new challenges every day. It’s shone light on how a production insurance company works, and just how quickly technology is changing the workplace and marketplace! Every day at HGV we are finding new ways for technology to help people drive productivity and profits to change the face of agriculture.
Is the agriculture industry for everyone - no it sure isn't. The mentors that I look up to and respect the most in agriculture are very driven, innovative, cutting edge entrepreneurs whose risk taking abilities would rival that of any Wall Street trader. But agriculture has allowed me to grow personally and professionally while allowing a good work/life balance and giving me plenty of time with my children.
And hey - if you want to know how it feels to make a difference in the world try taking an ice cold beer, a hot meal and homemade cookie to someone who has been stuck in a cab all day alone :)