Marji Guyler-Alaniz had recently left her career in corporate Agriculture when she came to a strong realization that women not only in corporate ag, but also production ag, were under-represented or not represented at all in the image of agriculture. The Dodge Ram 2013 Superbowl Ad, ‘God Made a Farmer,’ sparked this realization, and was the moment when Marji decided she could start to make a change in that image.
“I read an article that stated that ‘[the ad] was beautiful, but there was a lack of women.’ This is indicative of Agriculture in general, and I decided I could help through images.”
Marii didn’t have any direct contacts in production agriculture, so she began by contacting the women interviewed in the article about the Superbowl ad. They not only participated, but also gave her the resources she needed to help get the word out, and later that year she founded her website, FarmHer, which is dedicated to spreading awareness of women’s involvement in agriculture, mainly through photographs that she takes.
A few elements to her website include an online store which sells FarmHer apparel and accessories, of which 10% is donated to benefit women in ag. She has started an online community where women may share their written articles/blog posts, and which currently has over 1200 contributors from different states, co-ops, seed companies, etc.
A recent development in FarmHer was the launch of GROW, a series of events throughout the United States meant to connect and inspire young women in ag ages 15-23. The events feature various speakers and workshops that young women pursuing a career in agriculture may learn and grow from. GROW was launched in 2015, and partners with colleges and/or universities in order to gain a wider audience.
I had the pleasure of hearing Marji speak at the 2015 Executive Women in Agriculture conference in Chicago this December, and was blown away by her story and how she is working to change the perception the world has of women in ag. “We are all women in ag,” from the woman running the combine to the woman starting her very first home garden. And in order for the rest of the world to recognize this, we have to recognize it ourselves.
Know someone who would like to be featured on FarmHer? Click here for more info.