ABA Banking Journal - December 2007 - (Page 22)
Community Banking Pass the Aspirin: How do you handle time off around the holidays? p.25 AG PULSE 2007 When the lady of the house runs the farm, too Farm women have long had a big say in ag affairs. But a growing number of them co-manage with their husband, or are the boss. Bankers had better “get it” aura Daniels was puttering around the main yard at Heartwood Farm, a 600-cow dairy operation in Cobb, Wis., when she noticed that a bag of feed corn had tipped over. She stooped to scoop the kernels back into the bag. Feed costs money, and Daniels couldn’t abide any waste. Meanwhile, a salesman pulled into the yard, parked his truck, and began looking around for someone in charge. Ignoring Daniels, who was wearing bib overalls, her hair tied back, kneeling and refilling the corn sack, the salesman went to the farm office. Nobody there to talk to. He went to the main barn. No one there, either. He went to the house. No one answered. In all, he’d walked past Daniels two or three times. She hadn’t said a word, being busy with her chore, running behind, and, she admitted, not inclined to waste any time with a salesman with a day of work still ahead. She left him to his own devices. Finally, the truth beginning to dawn on him, the salesman crossed back to Daniels. “Well,” he said with some embarrassment, “who do I see here?” “Well,” Daniels answered back, “that would be me.” Daniels, owner, with her husband, Jarred Searles, of Heartwood, is the chief operator of the dairy, and says it seems to be taking many of the men of ag country some time to get their minds around the fact that a lady may be running the show. Even now, she says, when she and her spouse visit farm trade shows, seeking new products and new ideas in the exhibit halls, the first person that the salespeople reach to shake with is her husband. He always pleasantly advises them, “I’m not in charge. She is.” Daniels says her husband is a full partner in the farm, “but I am the general manager.” Daniels spoke as part of a panel about women in farming at L WOMAN FARMER Laura Daniels of Cobb, Wis., shows off one of her prize Jersey cows, from her Heartwood Farm, with her children, Nathan Daniels, left, and Julia Searles, right. By Steve Cocheo, executive editor 22 DECEMBER 2007/ABA BANKING JOURNAL www.ababj.com/subscribe.html
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