Equal opportunity

More women in southeastern Indiana no longer consider themselves just the farmer’s wife. They’re farmers.

That’s true for Maria Grove of Medora and Liz Brownlee of Crothersville, who left for college and then returned home to pursue careers in agriculture.

Though Grove, 27, and Brownlee, 28, are married to husbands who farm, the daily work of raising animals and tending to crops is handled equally, and they have taken on the same responsibilities as their male counterparts.

Grove, who sports a ponytail and a wrapped hand from a recent injury that occurred when she was pinned by a cow, doesn’t find the physical work of farming 400 acres of beef cattle, corn, soybeans and hay to be too much of a challenge.

“I don’t think there’s anything that you couldn’t do as far as being a woman,” Grove said. “It’s a very labor-intensive job; but at the same time, you can do a lot today by pushing a button.”

Brownlee, who farms 13 of her

Pull Quote

“If nobody feeds the cows, they won’t get fed. If you don’t tend the crops, it won’t get done. Basically, it’s all on you. You’ve got to take the initiative, you’ve got to step up, and you’ve got to do it. I guess I love that about it.”

Maria Grove, on farming

Pull Quote

“I realized that farming was the embodiment of how I wanted to live in the world. It was my environmental ethic. It was my care about community. And I fell in love with it, to be totally honest.” 

Liz Brownlee, on sustainable agriculture