Planting is still in full force with our tractors scattered all over the farm. Our heavy clay good rice soils dried out and we finished planting our rice today! I am excited to be down to only soybeans left to plant. So far the spring has had its ups and downs but we seem to be moving along at a good pace. This week I was featured on the Kellogg’s blog for Mother’s Day. This was such an honor for me! I have had the opportunity to meet and work with many of the great people at Kellogg through my work in sustainability. You can read the post here.
I believe women today are opening new doors and achieving goals our mothers never even dreamed possible. Plus we may also be wives; (and farm wives at that) and mothers too. I have a little trouble with the “pinterest effect” on women today too. Our lives aren’t perfect; our meals are not gourmet; our decor is not all like a Joanna Gaines’ home; and we do have piles of dirty laundry! Life is hard work no matter your job or gender or family composition!! I have had people say to me “I don’t know how you do it all!” and my reply is I DON’T!! I have help, including paid help, family support and a really good calendar! In this light I want to lift up some of my peers and showcase all the different personalities, jobs, tips, and accomplishments of my friends in agriculture. My hope is that by lifting these women it will help others to rise to see themselves in a job that is focused on agriculture.
LINDLEY GILLIAUM – Agriculture Grant Coordinator/Senior Instructor ASUN
I have known Lindley since forever! We love the same hometown and the same industry. I have watched her career for years as she progressed from field work to education. She has found her stride in this newest job and I can tell she truly loves the challenge she has been given. And may I say she is knocking it out of the park!
Lindley is a life long resident of Newport, Arkansas and graduated from Arkansas State University in Jonesboro with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture. During her senior summer of college she interned for Lawhon Farm Services in McCrory, Arkansas as a field scout/consultant. For those of you who may be unfamiliar with what that job entails – it means to walk the fields and examine for weeds, diseases, growth stages of the crop, irrigation needs and other things depending on the crop and the time of year and report them to the farmer. It is tough work and up until the time Lindley interned this was traditionally a job held by men. After college she worked as an independent crop consultant, was employed by Greenway John Deere Equipment Company and then as a yield specialist for Dulaney Seed in Clarkdale, Mississippi. All of these jobs led up to where she is now as the Agriculture Grant Coordinator and Senior Instructor for the all new Ag Technology Program at Arkansas State University – Newport.
She started the program from the ground up beginning with approval, funding, curriculum and gaining the support of area farmers to be invested in what the end product would be – knowledgeable employees that could bring a great skill set to a farm, granary, spray company or ag retailer. This two year program will allow the students to gain extensive knowledge and skill sets in: agronomy, equipment operations, mechanics, chemicals, spraying, modern software technology. The program is in its first year and Lindley hopes to be able to grow enrollment as well as class offerings and scholarship or sponsorship opportunities. It is the only program of its kind in Arkansas so check it out here.
Lindley is currently pursuing her Masters in Plant and Soil Science at ASU and should graduate in December. She is doing very well in her studies as is evidenced by her 3.5 GPA! Trust me – this course of study is not easy and especially with a full-time job and a feisty five-year old daughter to raise! This beautiful girl full of independence and a strong will (wonder where she gets that?) is her Mom’s biggest cheerleader. Often encouraging her to “do her best” and to keep chasing her dreams. Lindley’s favorite quote is one from her daughter. One night while Lindley was stressed over graduate school homework she told her Mom “You never know if you never try.” We can all learn more from children if we just listen.
The fact Lindley is living the example for her daughter will only lift her to higher goals and dreams than her mother could ever imagine. As we go about our everyday, it may seem routine or boring but our children are watching us every second. Lindley is being the role model her daughter and other young girls and women need all the while reaching for her own dreams. Slam dunk! I look forward to sitting on the sidelines and watching this precious girl grow into a successful woman!
Lindley points to two people in her life that have been huge influencers and mentors. Her first boss who gave her the opportunity to step into a man’s world as a crop consultant. He is still an active supporter in her life and actually sits on the steering committee at ASUN that has helped develop the program she administers. Another is a professor from her first college days and he is now an instructor for her in grad school and a peer in education. She says she wished she could tell her younger self to never give up and to never doubt her own capabilities. Lindley realizes now that she is capable of accomplishing whatever she sets her mind to do. I believe she has proven that over and over in her life.
Lindley enjoys chatting with others to learn all she can from their own experiences. These conversations have helped her to be more knowledgeable about farms and other businesses. She loves the weekly publication the Delta Farm Press – a staple in any farm or ag business in the south. Not only does it contain valuable information for agriculture but is based in Mississippi where she worked for many years. This keeps her close to that area and caught up on all the news from her old stomping grounds! She confidently says the Bible is her #1 personal development book! She also recommends The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz.
When asked about what life hacks routines-or things she does to just stay sane in today’s crazy busy world she says she is just keeping her head above water. Every morning may be different from the day before but a few minutes alone in her car before work can be the difference that makes the day calmer. A little pep talk to herself gets her on track and ready to conquer what ever the day may have in store for her. She also LOVES to run on a treadmill and listen to good music. Some of her favorites in her playlist are Midnight Special – CCR; Glory Days – Bruce Springteen; Doc McStuffins – she does have a five-year old; and her favorite song to run to is the Eye of the Tiger from Rocky.
I will be asking a few of the same questions of all the women I feature.
What app could you not live without? Facebook – I post many pictures of my family, but it is after all, making memories that counts. *I agree with that wholeheartedly!
- White rice or Brown rice? White
- Daily newspaper? No
- iPhone or Android? Android
- Coffee? YES
It is exciting to see this new program led by Lindley. Be sure to watch the Ag Technology Program at ASUN to see where it goes from here. We need trained people for farm and other ag related jobs so I am excited to see how this it will impact our workforce!
We will be working hard to get soybeans planted but I really think we need a good soaking rain to flush the rice, incorporate the nitrogen on the corn and probably germinate soybeans. The weather is our constant companion!