Lindsay Heer manages a dairy along with her husband on equal terms. She hopes more farms can progress to a relationship of equality between the sexes.

Farmer seeks brighter future for women

Lindsay Heer’s essay on women in the dairy industry was BC’s winning entry, sending her to the Advancing Women Conference in Calgary.

Stop asking Lindsay Heer when she will have a son.

The co-owner of the Robin Creek Dairy, east of Round Lake, has no problems passing on her dairy, when the time comes, to her three daughters should she need to.

“It really bothers me when people make comments about, ‘You don’t have anybody to pass on the farm to. Who’s going to take over?’ ” she said. “I think just the thought women or girls can’t do the same things as men, I don’t understand that.”

Heer grew up in an urban setting where both her parents were equals. She became a full-time farmer seven years ago when she met her husband Janik, splitting the work between themselves.

“I think that his passion for animals and my passion for local food, they kind of mix well together,” she said. “We operate in a way that works for us and maybe that does compete with those sort of old ideas.”

She used to milk cows full-time, but these days does more office work because she has to take care of her daughters.

But when Heer entered the industry, she had a cultural shock.

“It did surprise me when I entered this world, sort of the stereotypes that came along with it, and I think that not growing up on a farm, I wasn’t used to those ideas,” she said. “I think that women are just as capable and I did notice that there are less women in decision-making bodies, on boards as directors.

She entered an essay entitled Changing the Culture of Farming to a Dairy Farmers of Canada competition which wanted to hear from women in the dairy industry.

In her essay, Heer noted how the BC Milk Marketing Board, BC Dairy and Dairy Farmers of Canada board of directors has no female representation. “A dramatic misrepresentation of the many women contributing to this industry,” she writes.

“In media, in advertising, it’s so often men that are portrayed as the farmer,” Heer adds.

She points to the 2013 Super Bowl commercial titled So God Made a Farmer, featuring Ram trucks engaged in farm work. Heer noticed that the commercial starred 19 men and only three women.

Heer’s essay was picked as British Columbia’s winning entry, which won her a ticket to the Advancing Women Conference in Calgary March 27-29.

Heer said the conference saw 556 women working in agriculture attend, with two men operating equipment.

“It was a really empowering experience, and I think people felt safe that they could ask questions, they could share their story,” said Heer.

Heer said she has seen change in the Bulkley Valley.

“There’s a lot of really, really encouraging and awesome women that are farming in the Bulkley Valley, and it seems like more and more people are getting involved,” said Heer.

At the end of the day, Heer does not need a son. She needs society to progress so that her daughters can have equal opportunities.

“I don’t want them to be held back because they are girls,” she said. “If they want to become a farmer, I think that’s wonderful, and if they want to do something else, then we will support that as well.”

In Bulkley-Nechako areas A and G, women make up a combined 36 per cent of farmers, according to latest Statistics Canada data taken in 2011.


Read the full story in the April 6 edition of The Interior News.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Thursday’s blackout likely caused by vandalism

Power was out for 10,000 customers from Quick to the Hazeltons for almost 11 hours

VIDEO: Witset cannabis shop officially opens

The store, located at the gas bar on Hwy 16, is open seven days a week, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Police investigate July 2 homicide in Houston

Man succumbed to injuries at Pearson Road residence

Tahltan fighter from Telkwa wins provincial award

Lando Ball recognized for his commitment to and accomplishments in karate and for community service

RCMP patrol of smokehouse sparks concerns by Wet’suwet’en hereditary leader

Hereditary Chief Woos says he is feeling uneasy after RCMP attended the smokehouse with rifles

VIDEO: Musqueam Chief captures captivating footage of bald eagle catching meal

‘This is why we have chosen to live here since time immemorial,’ Chief Wayne Sparrow’s nephew says

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

In troubled times: Independence Day in a land of confusion

Buffeted by invisible forces and just plain worn out, the United States of America celebrates its 244th birthday

Stop enforcing sex work laws during COVID-19, advocates say

There are provisions in Canada’s prostitution laws that make workers immune from prosecution, but not from arrest

Liberal party finished 2019 having spent $43 million, raised $42 million

All political parties had until midnight June 30 to submit their financial reports for last year

B.C. teacher loses licence after sexual relationships with two recently-graduated students

The teacher won’t be allowed to apply for a teaching certificate until 2035

Most Read