March marks month to celebrate rural women
REGINA – The Saskatchewan government wants students to learn more about where their food comes from and who produces it. For the third annual Canadian agriculture literacy week, students at Seven Stones Community School in Regina heard what it’s like to be a farmer in the province.
“I learned all about the farming, the seeding, and the oil they make for clothes,” said Grade 4 student Dainan Crowe.
“I learned it’s hard working on a farm because you have to take care of all the animals and all the plants,” added Natty Sugar, another Grade 4 student.
Janna Lutz gave them a firsthand account: “We’re actually a mixed farm, so we have grain and cattle.”
Even though women have been working in the fields along side men for over a century, Lutz is not your stereotypical farmer.
“I think it’s really important to recognize that women are involved in agriculture,” she said.
This year, the provincial government has declared March – “Rural Women’s Month”. Sometimes Lutz drives heavy equipment, but more often she’s the one in charge of financial management and environmental planning.
“My husband and I are really concerned and passionate about being good stewards of the land,” she said.
Women have many roles on the modern family farm, but they always have. A look at Saskatchewan archival photos show the many things women have done from ploughing to milking to running the home – and often unacknowledged.
“What an important role we play, whether it’s been on the farm or now, in fact, with regards to how many women are working in the agriculture sector. If I think of myself, I’m a farmer with my husband, but I also have a role to play in my job as deputy minister of agriculture.”
That’s exactly what these farmers hope to get across to young students: to get involved, they need just one thing.
“Just our passion for agriculture. We’re very passionate about the work we do. We’re passionate about feeding ourselves and others,” said Lutz.