As I noted on Monday, I completed the American Agri-Women – Syngenta “Leadership At Its Best” Conference in Greensboro, North Carolina and I am posting interviews with other participants in the conference. Today’s interview is with the North Dakota firecracker (and ranch wife) Jannell Lagein.
1. Please explain your connection ot the agriculture industry.
I was born and rased on a fairy farm in North Dakota. I attended North Dakota State University (“NDSU”) and have degrees in Animal Science and Veterinary Technology. My heart was always being called to work with animals so after my husband & I married, we purchased farm land & began farming wiht his brother. We currently have a small grains operation in addition to a cow-calf and sheep operation. We’ve been farming together for 22 years.
2. How long have you been involved with AAW and in what capacity?
I have been involved with AAW since 2007 as a member – just a member (no offices).
3. What other agriculture organizations do you support?
North Dakota Wheat Growers, North Dakota Canola Growers, North Dakota Livestock Association, North Dakota Lamb & Wool Producers, North Dakota State Seedstock Association, North Dakota Farmers Union
4. Why do you think it is important for agriculture women to support AAW?
Women often have a different way of expressing opinions. When it comes to advocacy, women can help with testimony if the men cannot get away [from the farm]. Legislators like hearing from women when it comes to agriculture. By supporting AAW we can learn about each other’s concerns and become an unified voice.
5. What are your biggest agriculture policy concerns on the national level?
Right now we are having lots of issues with the Fish and Wildlife Service policies and how they affect farmers. I have also seen some abuse of power from the Natural Resource Conservation Service (“NRCS”). My family also has concerns with how horse slaughterhouses have been shut down.
6. What are your largest agriculture policy concerns on the state level?
Wetlands in North Dakota cause huge losses of income for farm familes.
7. What was your highlight at the AAW-Syngenta Leadership At Its Best Conference?
Finding more dominent (“D”) personalities [after we all took a personality test] who approach things the same way. I felt like we really connected and these are women I will always call on for resources.
8. If you could say anything to urban consumers that have never been to a farm/ranch, what would you tell them?
I would explain how raising children on a farm is the absolute best setting because the children get to experience so many things that other children only read or hear about. They can handle animals up close or see huge pieces of machinery working on the land to bring in crops that make their way to people’s tables. This lifestyle makes people more responsible as they see that animals and other people are depending on them. I would invite these people to get to know farmers and become involved in agriculture at whatever level they feel comfortable.
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