Our Special Spotlight Series is a look inside the lives of 5 Canadian Women who are trailblazhers in the Ag Industry. Canada’s Agriculture Day is a time to showcase all the amazing things happening in the industry and help consumers see the connection to where their food comes from and the people who produce it. Consumers want to learn more, and this day is a great way to start the conversation.
Last year, the entire ag industry celebrated across the country, shared our pride, opened doors to new food conversations, and trended nationally on Twitter. And we can’t wait to do it again in 2023.
Join us on Tuesday, February 15th as we raise a fork to the food we love. Post a photo, make a video, or write a blog. Share what you’re doing on social media using the hashtag #CdnAgDay. Encourage your friends to show-off their culinary talents using all-Canadian ingredients. Teach someone something new about agriculture. Share your knowledge and story with others. Be sure to participate!
How did you become a Woman in Ag?
I was proudly born into agriculture within the beef spectrum but am a proud first generation Bison, Pork and Chicken producer! Building our first generation ranch with no backing from the soil up!
What has most surprised you about Canada’s Ag industry?
Not necessarily surprising but the diverse amount of products and offerings we have within Canada is outstanding.
What do you wish people knew about your rural life?
Living rurally is difficult, it wasn’t meant to be easy… it was and is meant to be rewarding. Within the new skills learned, the dirt beneath our nails, the sweltering days and those that are frozen, there are blessings within each moment and many learning curves, but the smiles, laughter and pure beauty within each moment make you feel tribulation. Living rurally is a place of growth within all aspects. We as rural women, will forever be learning along with you.
Describe a typical day…
Every day on the Backwoods looks different, we are a diverse farm, ranch and homeschooling family. The number one thing that brings us all together is the daily animal routine, regardless of snow, wind, extreme heat or rain they still need to be tended too. The cows and goats need to be milked and we need to guarantee everyone including the humans needs are met regardless of time. Once the sun goes down and everyone is tended too, there is always a homegrown, home cooked meal for everyone to enjoy. (Cooking is a big thing here.)
How do you contribute to Canada’s Food Industry?
We provide naturally raised proteins with a story, from our pastures to our consumers plates. We take the utmost pride in regenerating the land, while conserving the Plains Bison species.
What are you most proud of being a contributor to Canada’s food industry?
As first generation bison ranchers whom have had to learn the majority of our sector from the bottom up, we provide a lot of time and education through programs like WWOOF and Young Agrarians in order to ensure individuals always have mentors when first starting out. The world needs more farmers and we are here, willing to share our story and passions with those who would like to learn more about our progressive industry!
What is your deep intention in how you show up in your business and the effect you want to have?
The utmost goal we have is to continue to educate consumers and producers on the humane raising and harvesting of animals. We at Backwoods strive to showcase ways of how to utilize and consume all parts of an animal in order to respect and value their lives from birth to harvest. (This is a liberation, zero waste mentality.)
What are all of your roles (wife, mother, rancher etc) and are you able to balance them?
The rolls of women in ag are expanding exponentially with the increase of inflation and the need for husbands to work away while wives tend to the farm. Some of my current rolls… I’m probably missing a few are:
3. Farm Hand
6. Financial Advisor
7. Meat Schlepper
8. Animal Handler
9. Dance Mom
11. Milk Maid
12. Baby Rocker
13. Laundry lady
14. Tractor Oil Checker
15. House Keeper
17. Social Media Advocate
18. Farmstore Face
19. Customer Service
20. Egg collector and washer
24. Agricultural host and mentor
Pertaining to balance, everything can be done within due time. Falling into bed at night tired, with a smile on your face means a day well spent. Reward is always found over the hill of challenge.
How do you build relationships with your customers?
Our small family farm uses many avenues such as word of mouth, farmers markets, social media and events. The world is our oyster literally 😉 Honesty and transparency are always the best policy. Visit our farmstore and animals and see firsthand how your proteins are raised.
Follow along with Laurie on IG @backwoodsbuffalo and we encourage you to reach out to learn more about these incredible Women in Ag!