The Heart of a Rural Sister: Rose
This is the third installment of an interview type post, where I visit with another rural woman in agriculture! I so love getting to know each woman, hearing her story, learning from the lessons she shares and being encouraged by her resiliency, determination and courage!
Here is Rose!
Tell me a little bit about yourself!
I’m Rose! I am married to my hubby Curtis, who was a brand inspector before we moved to Saskatchewan. We will celebrate 20 years of marriage in May! Our son Kolten is in his first year of college and just qualified for Canadian College Finals in Team Roping! Our daughter Kaycee is 10 and competes in biathalons, which is speed skiing (similar to cross country skiing) and shooting She is home schooled and loves it. Our ranch is here in Moss Bank, Saskatchewan and we have a cow calf operation.
My husband and I both come from families in agriculture. His family is in northern Alberta. My father and mother farmed in Southern Saskatchewan and I grew up working on the farm. For college, I went to Montana State University Bozeman, but was unable to finish as my father called me home to help on the farm. Looking back, I really wish I had been able to finish college. Although I proved my worth to my father, he was unable to change his will to include me after getting sick. He felt he was protecting me from my husband. Thus, my family farm went to my brother, who didn’t put in the blood, sweat and tears that I did. Now I care for my mother, who was also negatively affected by my brother taking over the farm. She has Alzheimer’s and lives not far from us, so I do my best to help her out.
How do you balance enjoying rural life and keeping the family at the center, but also giving your kiddos a chance to see/experience things outside of ag before they “leave” for college?
There really is no balance. You just have to take every day as a new situation. Include your kids. Take snacks, whatever they may need and then do what you need to do. Make sure you highly encourage them to finish university!
What are the unique ways you find to keep your love and attraction alive with your hubby?
That’s hard to say. We try. We tell each other we love each other often. Lots of hugs. He is my best friend. We can talk about anything. 22 years we have been together; married for 20.
What is the most challenging part of agriculture?
I think as a parent one of the most challenging aspects of agriculture is wondering and worrying over how to pass on the operation to your kids. Anymore, it’d be too expensive to expect them to buy it out. Then with laws and taxes and such it is a tough situation to navigate.
Would you mind sharing with us a time that was the most challenging for you and how you made it through?
About, 3 years ago, we lost our home to a tornado, we ended up making do. Insurance provided a camper until freeze up and then we had to move to a one bedroom apartment in town as that was all that was available. The bank told us that in this situation, folks usually end up declaring bankruptcy or marriages end in divorce. We were determined to not let either of those things happen. After struggling through different roadblocks, we ended up in the place we have now. Although this isn’t the perfect fit for us, (there is no room to grow and expand our operation), we have a strong marriage and we have gotten back on our feet.
What do you see as the positives for yourself in agriculture? Do you see lots of opportunities for women in agriculture?
I’ve experienced living in both Alberta and Saskatchewan. They both have different views of women. Agriculture still is a man’s world. In our provinces there are large Mennonite and Hutterite communities. They both have very traditional and old style views of women’s roles. That can be very difficult to overcome even if you are not from or in those communities. As a woman in agriculture, you have to be independent, strong, thoughtful and be good at mechanics if at all possible! Mechanics is definitely not my strong suit.
Do you face isolation and loneliness that many women in ag face? How do you deal with that?
Yes! The community we are in now, hasn’t been the most welcoming community. I have learned to look for and find friends wherever I go. They may not live close, but you can still develop wonderful friendships.
What do you believe are the three most important qualities in a woman in agriculture?
“Go do it!” What are you waiting for? Just because you may be told “no”, doesn’t mean there isn’t another way to achieve what you are hoping for. So don’t take “no” as the final answer. I have seen this over and over in my life. Never say “never”! Be persistent to reach your goals!!
Do you have any daily self-care non-negotiables? Why are those important to you?
(For some this might be reading the Bible daily, others it’s getting up a little bit earlier than the rest of the family to have a bit of quiet time, others it might be getting their nails done, journaling, etc.)
My quiet time is before everyone gets up. Lol. Having my cup of coffee and reading a book or bible study.
What is one piece of wisdom that you would share with another woman in ag?
Never give up. Be tough, but know that as a woman it’s ok to not be able to physically do some things. Raise your girls to be strong and independent women!
Not only do you ranch, you also have your own entrepreneurial business! Tell us about your Cactus n’ Sage boutique!
Cactus n’ Sage is a boutique I created from scratch. Although both of our money goes into it, my husband says the boutique is my business. He leaves the decisions to me and I leave the modeling for pictures to him! I buy from wholesale companies, many of which are in the states and then sell my items, via my Facebook page and vendor fairs. I have learned so much about myself through this business. I have also had to become proficient with the paperwork and laws around importing merchandise from the states to Canada.
There is a big movement right now of women becoming entrepreneurs and seeking unconventional ways to provide income and flexibility. Do you see this as a good thing? How do you see this especially helping a woman in agriculture?
With the rising costs of farming and ranching, expense of equipment and high land prices, many times both spouses have to work off the farm or ranch to keep things going. That is really hard. We’ve had to do that. Most jobs don’t work around the agricultural seasons of haying, calving, etc. Having your own business that you can work from home and around your schedule, allows you to stay focused on your agricultural goals and dreams, stay at home, and bring in additional income for the family. Ranching is my lifelong dream. I have never wanted to do anything else, but starting from scratch like we’ve done, is hard. I’m not sure what I would do without my company, which allows me to stay focused on our ranch.
If your best friend came to you and said that she was considering starting her own business, what 3 pieces of advice would you give her?
Don’t take “no” for an answer. Just do it! The worst thing that might happen is that you fall flat on your face. But, even if that happens, you will still learn from it. So get up and keep going!!!
Please be sure to check out, like, comment and share Rose’s Cactus n’ Sage Boutique on Facebook at www.facebook.com/cactusnsageboutique!
Rose also graciously shared a recipe with us! I can’t wait to try it! I’m always looking for a great bread recipe!
6 cups flour (3 cups multi grain flour and 3 cups white)
3 TBSP. fast rising instant yeast
1 ½ tsp salt
½ cup white sugar
6 cups warm water
3/4 cup oil
Mix dry ingredients together. Add liquid and beat with mixer until smooth. Add 4 to 6 cups more flour and knead until it is the right consistency. Grease hands a few times with margarine to stop dough from sticking to hands. Cover and let rise in oven with light on until double. Punch down. Shape into 6 loaves. Let rise, Bake at 400 degrees F for 25 to 30 minutes.
To use this recipe for cinnamon bread: Roll one loaf of dough out the width of the bread pan and about 18 “ long. Spread with butter, then sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon to cover. Roll up as a jelly roll. Seal ends and place seam side down. Let rise. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
This recipe is from the Alberta 4-h cookbook!
I had a chance to try out this recipe last weekend and it turned out wonderful!! I hope you’ll give it a try too.
If you have enjoyed reading this entry of “The Heart of a Rural Sister”, you might also enjoy reading the last interview with Lauren! You can read it here!