Shine On~ Women in Agriculture~Amy Rorvig
Shine On, Shine On was the subject of a blog post that I did a while back.
Here is the link to my first Shine On, Shine On post! I have decided that there are a lot of people that help me “Shine” and I am going to feature them on my Shine On, Shine On series.
This year I decided to start a new spin on my Shine On series and add a little more of agricultural spin. I am excited to be bringing you these interviews. My goal is to share these fine ladies stories with you all. Help me welcome my this Shine On Lady, Amy.
From historic homesteaders to contemporary cattle ranchers, women have been the cornerstone of America’s agriculture heritage. In fact, the 2012 Census of Agriculture notes that nearly 1 million women are working America’s lands. That is nearly a third of our nation’s farmers. Women are also scientists, economists, foresters, veterinarians, and conservationists. Women are in the boardrooms and the corner offices of international enterprises, and are the owners and operators of small businesses. Women are property owners and managers. Women are policymakers and standard bearers. Women are involved in every aspect of agriculture.
Shine On~Women In Agriculture featuring: Amy Rorvig
Please tell us a bit about yourself and your career path.
I am a 6th generation North Dakotan from McVille. I grew up on my family ranch that consists of cow/calf unit, backgrounding, yearling grazing operation, and marketing commercial bred heifers. I graduated from Minnesota State University Moorhead (MSUM) with a Bachelor of Science degree in 2014. After graduation I moved back home to work full time on the family ranch. My career path is probably going to be a little different from other people on the blog. In high school I would help out haying or moving cows when dad asked, but for the majority of it I was running around playing basketball, volleyball, or run at a track meet. I bet if you asked my high school class majority of them would probably not believe I am a full time “cowgirl”. Going into college I don’t know if I ever seriously considered ever going back home full time to ranch with my family. It took me a few college major changes, from elementary education, graphic design, to business to realize none of those courses were what I was looking for. I wish I could tell you what my ahh-ha moment was that made me wake up one day and think I’m ready and want to go back home, but I can’t. All I can tell you is that it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Doing hard work every day, with the goal to make things better, and care for all the livestock is one of the most rewarding feelings one can have at the end of a day.
Tell us about your role and what does your “typical day” looks like.
First off, I will tell you there is not a “typical day” but I will say there is a typical season! Summer is branding and haying season, fall is for weaning calves, moving to cows closer to home, and getting ready for winter, winter time is chore time, meaning you are feeding and watering your livestock, spring time is calving time! Of course, that is just the highlights of every season and everyday is different and busy but that’s what keeps the job/ lifestyle fun.
Who is/was your biggest influencer or mentor? What did you learn from them?
My biggest influencer or mentor would be my dad. I could go on and on about the things I have learned or the things I admire but I will just share a few. When I think of my dad a few words come to mind, smart, hardworking, understanding, and patient. I think in this line of work those traits are must haves! Some of classic lines you would hear my dad say…
- Think before you speak
- Don’t make things harder than they have to be
- Keep it simple
- You can’t win if you don’t play
- Don’t keep score
- Keep producing as long as marginal revenue exceeds marginal cost (ps. Did I mention he is a former banker?)
- Just do it right the first time
How do you define personal success? How are you working to get there?
I would define personal success as setting personal/work goals, big or little and doing something each day to get closer to the end goal. For me where I feel success or the joy of getting things done is at the end of each day I write down what needs to get done. That morning the things on my list from the night before are priority to me. Once I get everything crossed off that list I feel like I have accomplished a lot and then on to the next thing. Every day your job is to make things better. One of my favorite sayings come from my dad, “leave things better than you found them.” So I feel like success comes from improving yourself and things around you.
How do you think a women’s role(s) in farming/ranching/agriculture has changed over the last decade?
A decade isn’t that long ago, a decade ago was 2008. So, I’m not sure if I really think much has changed with women’s role in agriculture. I think in the last ten years women have been here doing the work the men have been the face of. What I do think has changed though is social media exposure. I think women are getting recognized more or more credit for the roles they play in agriculture. I think social media is spot lighting women like you and I more now than ever. I think its pretty cool seeing other ladies in the field with me getting recognized. So thank you Naomi for putting the spot light on us!
Learning from our mistakes is an important part of life. Would you mind helping others and share a mistake that you have made and what it taught you in the process?
I’m not sure I have a huge major mistake to learn from yet but just remember I’m only 25, so I have a lot of time to make one (ha). I do have one regret however, I wish I would have taken some interest in more of the AG related courses in college. I feel like I overlooked them not because I didn’t care but because I didn’t know. I didn’t know all the different jobs the agriculture life could offer you. It wasn’t until I started meeting other people in the field when I started thinking this. So, I wish I would have met more people and talked to them about their role in the agriculture world sooner in life, so I could have made a few changes in my college education.
How would you define “women in agriculture” or “women in your career”?
I did a little looking around on this topic and focused on women in agriculture in North Dakota. What I found was that there are 11,332 ladies in agriculture in ND that’s 26% of farmers. Even though there are more men in the field of agriculture I still wouldn’t define us any different from the men. Everyone is doing the same work and trying to make a living there are just fewer women.
What in your opinion, is the most important topic in the agriculture world right now?
Everyone always is trying to do one thing, year after year, and that’s trying to figure out how to be profitable.
What is in your daily toolbox? Planner? Phone? Computer? Special item(s)? Why do you carry it with you?
I would be lost with out my phone. I have everything on that. I use my phone for emails, things I need to remember, things I need to get done, a calendar, and just the everyday phone calls. Also, a little fun fact I like taking pictures of the ranch life and I do have a real camera, but I use my phone for most all my pictures.
In closing, do you have any advice, quotes for young women, or anyone that is starting their career in agriculture?
“do the thing you think you cannot do”
Amy~Thank you for taking time out of your day to answer a few questions. I am thankful that our paths crossed. The first time that we met, I was immediately drawn to you and knew that I needed you in my life. I appreciate you and all that you do.
Here are a few more reasons that you help me Shine On:
🌟You have a good attitude on everything you do. I appreciate your “Just Get it Done!”
🌟I also admire your fun, witty spirit. You are fun to be around.
🌟You make me want to be a better cowgirl-cattlewomen.
🌟Your a hard worker and it shows.
🌟I love that your smile is very contagious.
🌟You are going to be an amazing wife. Best wishes to you and Taryl on your upcoming marriage.
🌟You make those, myself included, feel comfortable when we are around each other.
🌟I admire your involvement in agriculture associations and your community.
🌟Strong women stand together when things get rough, hold each other up when they need support, and laugh together when there’s no reason to.
My message to you, dear friend is Shine On!!
When I think of you, I think of this quote:
“There are friends who will offer advice and wisdom. Then there are cowgirls who come blasting through your door with whiskey, weapons, a shovel and a plan.”
Thank you for just being YOU!~Naomi