“Everyone has their own unique story that I believe is worthy of sharing.”
Katelyn Duban is cultivating a community of women farmers as a farmer, wife, blogger, and podcaster giving voice to female farmers.
As a first generation farm-her, Katelyn began her farming journey feeling isolated. The unexpected challenges that came with the farming lifestyle were difficult to relate to her friends and networks, and she began blogging about her experiences on the farm. She turned to social media and online communities for support, where she found that she could to connect with and relate to other women farmers.
After launching the Rural Woman Podcast for the world to hear in March 2019, Katelyn has been inspiring farmers and educating listeners with real stories of women in ag. “We can’t do all of this work alone,” says Duban, “I really think it’s important to come together from time to time – whether that’s meeting so we all are aware of what’s going on and what needs to be done or sharing a meal with one another”
As she actively tends to her farm, her podcast and blog promotes a much needed community for women farmers, sharing the realities of living the farm-life. “The Rural Woman Podcast has built a community of women in agriculture from all over the world…with downloads in more than 26 countries, the stories of these women are resonating and empowering more women to share their own stories, ” Katelyn explains.
“Although the farm was not too far from where I lived previously, sometimes it felt like it was thousands of miles away.”
From Farmer to Podcaster
“Not being from a farming background, I didn’t realize that being a farmer wasn’t just a job; it was a lifestyle.”
When she began her new life as a farmer in 2016, she was confronted with the realities of what it means to be a full-time farmer. “I really didn’t have a clear understanding what my role on the farm would look like or being immersed in this lifestyle would be…I began blogging about my farm life soon after we were married. Not only was being on the farm isolating from a physical standpoint, but it was also isolating because none of my friends could relate to what I was going through as a new farm wife.”
“I guess I thought there would be times when we could simply ‘shut off; the farm and have a regular life. But quite honestly when we’re not actually farming around here we’re still thinking/talking about farming. There’s always grain to sell, equipment to buy/fix, and plans to be made for our future. Farming isn’t a 9-5 job – it truly an all encompassing lifestyle.”
Online communities and social media allowed her to expand her networks to outside the farm, to connect with and relate to other women and farmers around the world. “I found a community of women online, through my blog and Instagram, that could relate to my story and be supportive of my journey,” she says. “I began to think about what I could do to share their stories….As an avid podcast listener myself, I knew that this was the way I wanted to share the stories of Women in Agriculture.”
Getting started was a daunting task, “I read every how-to out there and reached out to fellow women in agriculture that had their own podcast and asked for some advice. I went back and forth on the idea for months. I dealt with imposter syndrome on and off – why did I think I was capable of sharing these stories? Who would listen to them? But somewhere in the back of my head and the bottom of my heart, I knew that this was something I wanted/needed to do.”
Her determination was well-suited for the mission, and the podcast has since been inspiring her listeners with well-researched interviews and contemporary commentary. “Finally after months of hard work behind the scenes of teaching myself how to record, edit, and produce a podcast it was ready… I was so nervous and so excited all in the same breath. I didn’t know if anyone would listen to it but I was confident even if they didn’t, these stories of the women that I interviewed struck a chord with me and it’s what I needed to hear. ” Naturally, the podcast was a success, breaking the 10,000 download count in just three short months, with an offer from a major television network to interview the stars of an upcoming television series.
“I simply love a good podcast so hope to see more women in ag at the podcasting table.
I truly believe our stories cannot be shared enough.”
Raising the Barn
“I received countless messages from women (and some men) all over the world thanking me for sharing these stories. People were able to connect and relate to these women’s stories and bridge the isolation gap in some way.”
As Katelyn’s projects grow to reach wider audiences, her efforts to connect women farmers through her blog, podcast, and social media presence have been well-received. The women coming together to share their experiences as farmers and members of the farming community are truly inspiring and give a voice to the community. “These women were sharing their stories as mothers, wives, farmers, entrepreneurs, etc.. Each of these women had their own unique stories, but there was one thing that was tying them all together – agriculture. I thought to myself that these women’s stories needed to be shared to a wider audience because I knew all too well the feeling of being alone and not having anyone around me relate to my story.”
Her inclusive approach has resonated with many listeners, and helps to bridge the gaps within the farming industry. “I share stories from women who come from all different types of agriculture whether they are a farmer, rancher, homesteader or anything in between. They can be conventional or organic, corn fed or grass finished, big AG or small farm. We are all in this together and that is the biggest message I want to get across. Just because we don’t do things the same, it doesn’t make it bad – it’s just different.”
Online communities and social media in this modern age have certainly changed the way we interact with each other, and can help to cast light on historically isolated niches of the industry, like women farmers. “Being on social media has brought people in the agricultural community together. We don’t make up a big part of the population and we are quite isolated in our own areas. Social media had helped us come together to support one another in times of need and cheer each other on in times of celebration. The Agriculture community is truly like no other.”
The Internet has also created a window for people outside the community to look in, and be a part of that commentary. Katelyn explains, “the second way I believe social media has changed people’s view on farming is for the non-agriculture community, the city folk so to speak. They are given inside access to where their food truly comes from. It is so easy to be distracted by the media and advertising when it comes to our food that we can get lost of where it actually comes from. Having these platforms to share our real to not only each other in agriculture but for the outsiders to have a look I think is truly impacting all of the noise when it comes to food production.”
Katelyn Duban supports a community of women farmers and introduces the farming life-style to online communities through her podcast, blog, and social media outlets. She continues to work on finding ways to support the industry, including the Rally Campaign, and many more upcoming projects. “The agriculture industry is like no other. Farmers and ranchers are truly the eternal optimists. We work against the clock and the elements on a daily basis. We stand alone in our fields and come together in need.
The Rally Campaign was built for this purpose – To stand together and support one another. We are the faces of agriculture no matter the size of your operation. We stand united whether we’re conventional or organic, grass or grain finished, big Ag or small farm. We’re all in this together.”
The Rally Campaign is a fundraising effort to provide funds for Agricultural organizations. T-shirts sold on WildRoseFarmer, offer $4 of the proceeds equally split between the two organizations.
The goals of the Rally Campaign:
- Raise money and awareness for the selected Agricultural organizations
- Stand together to help support those in need in Agriculture
“By opening up and being in community with women who are different then you, whether that be how they farm, their ethnicity, their beliefs- it opens you up to see all the amazing possibilities there are for Women in Ag.”
As a full-time farmer, Katelyn continues to embrace the farming life and expand her skill-set every day. “Farming-wise, it’s my goal to be able to operate all the machinery from seeding to harvest. I’d also like to know the basics of how to fix said machinery if I am ever in a bind. I am looking into bale gardening this year as a way to help contribute to the farm. I am hoping we are able to start grazing animals in our pasture. So many things!”
As for the podcast and blog, “more on the WildRoseFarmer side, it’s my goal to connect with more people (specifically women) in ag. Whether that be online or face to face. I would like to be able to publish more episodes of The Rural Woman Podcast per week. With growth of financial support of the show, that is definitely a possibility.”
For those who are considering starting a podcast or blog, Katelyn offers some advice and lessons learned:
“Learning to say no has been one of the biggest game changers and blessings for me. Allowing myself to say no to things that don’t align with my values allows me the freedom to work on the things I am passionate about. It may hinder me on getting extra likes or followers, but I honestly prefer it that way. I’m here for the community, not the popularity contest.
“I have come to realize if my gut tells me it’s not a good fit, then in no way is it a good fit. If it’s not a hell yes, then it is a no
“As for advice, just start. If you have that feeling in your heart, go for it. Whether that’s a blog, a podcast, YouTube or social media; that need for connection will not go away. Show up as your real and authentic self. Find your voice and connect with others.
“Your story is worthy of being told.“
Listen to the Rural Woman Podcast online.
Find out how you can get involved with her charitable Rally Campaign here.
A big Thank You to Katelyn for sharing the story and photos for this piece!
Hometown: I grew up in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada. When I married my husband I moved out to his family farm.
Favorite book or book character right now: I am a big nonfiction reader, a self proclaimed self help junkie. Some of my favorites include Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle, Daring Greatly by Brene Brown, The Power of I am by Joel Olsteen, and Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis.
Tool you cannot live without: I can’t live without my coffee maker.
In Her Words
“I think, in some ways, there are more women involved in farming than we know. Whether that’s on the front lines, so to speak, driving the combine at harvest or they’re in the office getting the contracts signed all while feeding the crew in the field and raising their families. I think being a woman in ag is such a multifaceted thing. I view women on the farm as a powerhouse all on their own. I think we can encourage women in ag to share their stories, whether online or in person, by creating an environment where it is safe to do so; Free of judgment and criticism. There is no one size fits all when it comes to a woman’s role in an operation. I recently wrote a blog post about the 10 Things I’ve Learned Sharing my Ag Story Online as I just celebrated my third blog-aversary.”