International Women’s Day – Amy Hill

Tell us a bit about yourself and your role in the agriculture industry in Nova Scotia.

I grew up the suburbs in Dartmouth but with a passion for Agriculture from a young age as my parents took us to stay on a working farm in PEI every summer for our vacation. I grew up thinking that the best way to relax was to be in a place where we dug potatoes and collected eggs in the morning for breakfast and went for long pasture walks with cows in the afternoon – it sparked something in me that I have never let go! I went to the Nova Scotia Agricultural College (now Dalhousie Ag) after high school and it only solidified my desire to be involved in this industry. I started my own farm in 2011 while my partner, David, worked as a carpenter to foot the bills while we grew.

We built our entire operation from scratch, barns, buildings, garden spaces, greenhouses, etc and in 2017 it was at a large enough size for me to bring him home full time. We now manage our >10 acre mixed farm with two kids under foot and typically 3 full time staff during our planting season. I handle the social media, finances, communication, sales, CSA Programs and garden planning while David handles the livestock, maintenance, and deliveries. I never really imagined myself managing a farm or growing it to the size we have, or to be putting my voice out to the world as someone speaking up for Women in Agriculture but I am forever grateful for the breadcrumbs through life that lead me to where I sit now.

What is one message you would like to share about women in agriculture for International Women’s Day?

Growing up I always pictured Women in Ag as farm wives, mothers; the caregivers that obviously had an important role to play but that theirs were background roles of the Industry. I realize now that women have always been there milking cows, driving tractors, tending to the gardens, managing staff and making decisions but perhaps weren’t having that side of their lives shared with the world. One of my main goals as a participant in Agriculture is to showcase the many roles that women serve in this industry because the more we are recognized, the more we can tackle the barriers we face in this Ag. and, my hope is that we’ll see many more female farmers drawn by children who know it doesn’t matter their gender, they can be anything they want!