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Soil Sisters: We Can Do It!
Ashley Wegmueller
Ashley Wegmueller

We can do it. This short sentence carries a good deal of history. There’s a pretty good chance, like many people, you picture Rosie the Riveter. With her sleeves rolled up, the iconic bandanna, and the look of pure determination, Rosie was (and still is) an icon.

Women have always been powerful. And women have always been there — often behind the scenes and underestimated. But we make things happen. And whether it’s raising animals or children, growing food, milking cows, or out in the field, women have been farming as long as men, really.

We recently hosted an event on our farm. It was the premier of the Wisconsin Public Television show called Around the Farm Table. Despite the 90-degree day, the opening scene gave me chills. It was THAT good. You’ll have to watch it, but it was a powerful moment full of female farmer support. The entire episode is dedicated to the best things about being female, the ability to be creative, hardworking, persistent, innovative, and supportive. Be sure to catch the episode ( to see some amazing female farmers doing really great things!

Several years ago I came across something that immediately caught my eye. It was a full weekend event put on by a group called the Soil Sisters. I was instantly intrigued. My family had a garden when I was young, and there are even photos of me as a small child standing next to “my” sunflower. When I lived in a third story apartment in Madison I even planted veggies in pots on my balcony. And every year since my garden has grown larger, despite never ever getting ahead of the weeds. That day, I read everything I could find about the Soil Sisters event — female farmers sharing information on how to grow good food, start a CSA, raise laying hens on pasture, or sell produce from your market garden? Yes, please! That’s all it took and I was totally hooked. 

Little did I know, that was just barely scratching the surface. Alone, women can get things done. Put us together, and watch out! Something as simple as a friendly potluck can turn into so much more. Women connecting can bring out the best of all of us. I think it’s because there is no competition happening. We are all unique, with our own strengths, weaknesses, struggles, and successes. Business ventures might begin, someone may be inspired to run for office, or mentorships might even sprout. Finding people to connect with really is the secret to women getting it done. Together, we can change the world and make history.

It’s true. We really CAN do it.

— Ashley Wegmueller and her husband Dan have a fourth-generation grass-based Brown Swiss dairy farm where they host agri-tourism guests, and run “The Dairy” Farm Stay and Bo & Olly’s Produce. The focus of the farm is to connect others with animals, the land and environment that surrounds us all, and the food we eat.  Soil Sisters, a program of Renewing the Countryside, connects and champions women in the Green County area committed to sustainable and organic agriculture, land stewardship, local food, family farms and healthy and economically vibrant rural communities. Check out the upcoming Soil Sisters weekend on Aug 5-7, 2022, featuring over 25 on-farm workshops led by these women farmers: