The Pioneer Woman Agvocates


Earlier in the week I published a post about meeting Ree Drummond, better known as the Pioneer Woman. I spouted about how fantastic it was to meet her, and how it was just what the doctor prescribed for a downtrodden, frumpy, overwhelmed college girl. I didn’t tell the entire story, though.

When I walked up to Ree, the first thing I said was, “You are my hero.” This is true. When I found out she was coming to Naperville, I called my mother and screamed, yes, SCREAMED at her that my role model and inspiration was going to be a half-mile away from campus. My poor mother was dazed. KellyMRivard.com, I’m sure, is the only blog she’s ever read. That, and she’s not as deeply connected to farming as I am. She was married to a farmer-man once. Farming paid for their wedding. If you read this, Mama, I love you. And I forgive you for finding my farm fascination odd.

I digress.

I told Ree Drummond that she’s my hero. And I meant it. Not only is she a role model for women everywhere for many reasons, but she’s an agvocate. She may not realize she is one, but she exemplifies the word. She’s done more for agricultural outreach than I think even she understands. She sets the standard for bloggers to aspire to, and she’s proven that agriculturally-themed messages CAN impact others.

Less than an hour ago, I finished reading Ree’s book, Black Heels to Tractor Wheels. Throughout the book, there are anecdotes highlighting what it means to live on a ranch. It solidifies the rancher’s dependence on the land. It wraps the nitty-gritty of tough country living into a neatly-packaged, heart-warming story about the unexpected turns life can lead us around.

On her blog, in her cook books, in her recently-released children’s story, Ree shares facts and insights about ranch life that the general public may not know. She sheds a positive light on an industry and lifestyle that generally goes unappreciated. Ree is an agvocate, through-and-through. And she’s got the whole “wide target audience” thing on lockdown. Standing in line to meet her, I heard all sorts of stories from people of all walks of life. People identify with her as a mother, a cook, a gardener, a homemaker, a woman, a wife, a photographer, and more. Because of Ree, these folks get access to a world they wouldn’t know otherwise. Because of the Pioneer Woman, people all over can enjoy a taste of the world’s oldest and most pivotal business: agriculture.

As far as agvocating goes, Ree Drummond makes us all look like slackers.

With that in mind, I need to start planning my next redesign. I feel so…so…so…so…unremarkable. I’m perfectly capable of making this blog look great, and here I am with a canned layout and a scapegoat header. I also need to call my mother. Because I kind of like her.

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14 thoughts on “The Pioneer Woman Agvocates

  1. darlin, I read your blog all the time! I am your biggest fan when it come to your writing, even when you were in the 4th grade and I posted them on the frig. I bought the book that your very first published poem was in. On that note, I did think your campus was on fire or something when you called about the book signing, until your stopped screaming, haha Everyone needs a Hero and I’m glad you found yours!
    Love, Mom

  2. Kelly, the one thing I love the most about this post is not about Ree, it’s about your relationship with your first hero in your life, your Mom. And what a treat I had to read what Mom’s all around the world love to hear about from other Mom’s, their children. You are blessed beyond measure. I can also relate to you too, Kelly. At your age no one around this suburban raised girl understood me and my desire to be around animals. I go home to Mom’s house and she has grown to understand me, but the rest of the world I grew up in now thinks of me as a loon. It’s ok, I can never live in a place more wonderful then our ranch surround by my cattle, two horses, three dogs, a cat, chickens and the wildlife. I get to experience the circle of life, not just the seasons. And this spring some wild weather. I’m happy beyond my wildest dreams when I was a college age suburban girl majoring in Ag. Econ.

    Keep up the great work Kelly, your as important an agvocate as Ree Drummond!

    • Kim, your comment brought a huge smile to my face. I’m lucky to have my mother; she’s been my rock through an incredibly turbulent college experience, especially over the last year. (She’s going to get a big head if she reads this. It’s okay, she deserves it.) It’s heartwarming that you saw that relationship come through. As far as being the odd duck with my love of agriculture, I own it the best I can. I’ve come to love agriculture, and am proud of my involvement. Thank you for your kind remarks and the taking the time to read and comment. I really, truly appreciate it!

  3. Kelly, what you capture in this blog post is the essence of why I blog. When I started blogging in 2007, I didn’t know Ree Drummond but as I as I found her, I connected with her and she reinforced to me through her writing that I can be who I am on the prairie, share my life and people connect with it. Any woman whose blog I go to get my favorite meat loaf recipe while reading about a prolapsing cow has a powerful agriculture story. The fact 10 million people are reading her blog a month is such a powerful tool for all farmers and ranchers. This my favorite blog post of yours. Excellent. Thank you so much for sharing!

    • As always, Katie, it’s great to hear from you and receive your feedback! I greatly appreciate that you fit me and my little blog into your busy schedule. It was a huge honor to meet Ree, and the fact that I was able to mention, in passing, that I blog about agriculture meant the world to me. She seemed genuinely interested in the fact that there is an ag blogging movement out there! As for your life on the prairie, keep sharing. You’ve got an amazing little patch of heaven to share. Thanks again for reading and commenting.

  4. Kelly, I agree that Ree has led a zillion people to agriculture’s door, but I think there’s plenty of room for the rest of us, too. What Ree does (or doesn’t do) on their ranch doesn’t reflect what I do (or don’t) on this one. People need to know that all ranchers aren’t like Ree and MM. That’s where we come in. The story of agriculture is multi faceted just in the ranching world, not counting other producers. We all need to be proud to tell our stories!

    • Great point, Carol. This is why agriculture needs a diverse and enthusiastic communication base; it is, by nature, a very diverse industry. The stories I’d share from my experiences on farms in Illinois will be drastically different from those told by you or Ree or anyone else. It’s great to highlight that diversity and embrace it. Thank you for that dose of perspective and encouragement. And, thank you kindly for taking the time to read and comment on my blog!

  5. Kelly,
    Super jealous you got to see Ree Drummond in person…and on a school day! As a teacher, I would understand your absence from class 🙂

    I love, Love, LOVE the new layout…and hang in there, summer is almost here (yes, I’m telling myself that).

    • Thank you for commenting, Kim! I’m pretty proud of the new look myself. It’s clean-cut and simple and has a much more…summery feel to it than my spring “planting season” one. I feel a little bit of guilty over missing class, but the act of meeting a hero of mine tends to outweigh it immensely. I have five more weeks of class before summer starts, because of our trimester system here at North Central College. However, I’m hanging in there! This year has been a doozey, in multiple ways. Thanks again and take care!

  6. I’m so glad you went! She seems like an awesome woman! The Pioneer Woman sets the bar high for agvocating and blogging, as it should be! By reading yours and watcing you tweet, you are well on your way to being your own Pioneer Woman! Good luck!

    Lori

    • Lori, thank you! I don’t know that I’ll ever reach Ree’s level of magnitude or influence. I’m not sure I actually would want to, honestly. But she presents herself as a good role model and inspiration for me and other women bloggers. Thank you for commenting and taking the time to follow my blog!

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