By Cyndie Shearing
Successful women supporting and mentoring other women interested in advancing their careers is commonplace in corporate America. This type of supportive professional relationship is found in other business environments as well, including agriculture and farming.
Joanna Lidback, a Vermont dairy farmer and ag advocate on social media, offers some advice for women in agriculture who are thinking about getting involved in advocacy.
“Find your people, find your peers,” Lidback says. “It can be daunting to put yourself out there, particularly in this age of keyboard warriors and shocking content,” she acknowledges. But you’re not out there on your own, she explains.
Throughout her ag advocacy journey, Lidback has found tremendous support through participation in groups of people with similar goals, particularly when it comes to how to respond to negative comments about the content she’s sharing. Exchanging (and debating) ideas on promoting engaging content produced by others and tips for successful outreach on legislative issues are additional benefits.
Lidback and her husband, Adam, milk 80 Jersey and Holstein dairy cows. They also grow forage to feed the cattle, as well as raise replacement heifers and some steers for local beef sales. “We are excited to raise our three kids on the farm. They are all taking on new tasks and learning about the responsibilities and rewards that go along with farming,” she adds.
In addition to her work on the family farm, Lidback is CFO and business manager for Adirondack Farms LLC and principal consultant for Adirondack Management Services LLC.
She’s also first vice president of Orleans County (Vermont) Farm Bureau, serves on the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Grassroots Action (GO) Team, graduated from AFBF’s Partners in Advocacy Leadership program and is a director with the Global Farmer Network.
The American Farm Bureau is featuring Lidback and several other women leaders in agriculture as part of its Women In Ag series during March (Women’s History Month).
Cyndie Shearing is director of communications at the American Farm Bureau Federation.