YUMA, Ariz. (KECY/KYMA) - From field to storefront, women in agriculture are helping to pave the way for a better future.
For today’s Home Grown, we hear from two women who have played a critical role in Yuma farms and ranch operations.
Amanda Mellon’s life changed in 1994.
Not only did she get married to the man of her dreams, but to a third-generation farmer.
“He grew up working in the fields and doing it all,” said Mellon, owner of Dandy Home & Ranch store.
Peggy Alameda, also living as the wife of a farmer for 42 years now.
“I would say for me, it was kind of an eye-opener because I kind of grew up in a 9-to-5 family with my father‘s job. So it was really a major adjustment I would say in the beginning for several years of our life,” said Alameda.
Both women agreed, it was a lifestyle change.
“It’s also a family-oriented job like I said our kids all hung out at the farm all the time. So many advantages of being a farm family,” said Alameda.
Over the years though farming has changed, the responsibilities of a farmer’s wife have for the most part stayed the same.
“It’s not a job, it’s a livelihood, and I think that because it’s a livelihood, it’s their blood it’s their soul,” said Alameda.
Mellon says because of her husband and father, even her daughter has grown to feel a connection to the farm.
“She feels like her identity is so much part of all that. She has a strong core belief system in agriculture, and in family farming, and being an advocate for agriculture, protecting our water rights, and all the things that go along with that. That’s just what she bleeds,” said Mellon.
Mellon’s passion for the agriculture industry also fueled one of her life-long dreams.
As the owner of the Dandy Home & Ranch store, she is able to bring a touch of the farm to consumers.
“You’re used to being around people that are used to gathering people, and feeding people, and entertaining people, and sharing with people. So all of those qualities are things that I wanted to represent here, and I wanted our shop to be almost like a storefront that would bridge the gap between the consumer and the producer, and give everyone a chance to feel the pride that we all feel as a farm family,” said Mellon.
If you are a new wife to a farmer, you can know there are women to support you in new challenges.
“The same thing when you marry into a farm, you learn to grow and become this big family and even after 42 years, it’s still thriving,” said Alameda.