ASHLAND, Ohio – Cold, raining and muddy. It was not a good day for farming. But the atmosphere was warm and cheerful for those attending the first Women in Agriculture Conference, hosted March 23 by OSU Extension in Ashland County.
Diverse, yet united. Participants were from counties far and wide, including Wyandot, Wayne, Medina, Ashland and Columbiana. They introduced themselves, many as growing up on a farm, some marrying into agriculture and one considering marrying a farmer.
Even with the common factor, there was quite a diversity of backgrounds and interests, including some in the crowd who did not have an agricultural background but were interested in meeting those who do.
Queen of farm women. Featured speaker, Pat Leimbach, explained how her mother, a widow, struggled during the Depression to raise her seven children on a small fruit farm.
Wishing for a better, easier life for the daughter, Pat’s mother sent her to a women’s college with hopes the French major would have a future of culture and perhaps work with the United Nations. Instead, after graduation, Leimbach found employment at a rural high school of 35 students as a teacher of French, English, drama, baseball, and basketball.
The school, Leimbach quipped, was managed by a group of farmers who “knew a good heifer when they saw one.”
The almost inevitable happened, she married a farmer.
In stitches. For an hour, Leimbach had the audience in nonstop laughter as she told of being a farm wife, mother and grandmother. It was easy see from the head nodding and comments that her experiences were universal.
What farm wife does not know of going out on a winter day, very early of course, to tow the tractor or truck that would not start, and that a farmer would do anything for a good piece of log chain.
Pat did not have to explain that a “midnight romp” was not a romantic interlude but meant that the cows were out. Then there were the trips to try and get the (correct) repair part, the church dinners
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