Sylvester launches blog series focused on life of farm women
By SEAN CLOUGHERTY
FELTON, Del. — Cara Sylvester is looking for a few good women — farm women, that is.
A farm wife and a mother herself, Sylvester launched a series of stories called “Farm Women Fridays” from her personal blog website this month featuring local farm women, the work they do and the lives they lead.
A loan officer for MidAtlantic Farm Credit, Sylvester started the series as part of her volunteering for CommonGround, a corn and soybean checkoff funded national initiative aimed at starting conversations and making connections, online or otherwise, between the women who grow food and the women who buy it.
“I was just thinking about what I would want to know if I wasn’t a farmer,” Sylvester said about starting the series. “I just want them to know that there are people out there to answer their questions no matter what questions they might be.”
On Delmarva there’s about a dozen women involved with CommonGround, Sylvester said, reaching out through all types of social media and face-to-face with women at events throughout the area.
“It’s all across the board but the main goal is to connect one-on-one,” Sylvester said. “Our goal is to initiate conversation with people”
The CommonGround project is one of many that have cropped up in recent years aimed at explaining and defending modern agriculture to people that are now generations removed from the farm.
Sylvester started her blog, “…Story Worth Telling,” in 2008, telling stories mostly about her life in general, touching on farming here and there.
After getting involved with CommonGround, farming topics came up more frequently but she said it’s still based around personal stories.
“I definitely get more hits on the ag stuff,” she said. “But I want people to feel like they know me.”
That’s why she keeps the tone informal in her writing, leaving the technical jargon and research statistics to other bloggers.
“I want it to be like I’m talking to someone, like I’m speaking to a friend,” she said. “If you find something in common, you start to have a connection with them. It starts a conversation.”
The social media site, Twitter has also been a good way for Sylvester to make connections. She visits a weekly Ag Chat on the site to catch up with other farmers around the country and also contribute to the conversation.
“There are so many people involved (in things like CommonGround). It’s made us seem much more close knit,” she said. “We’re probably never going to meet but I feel like I know them a little better.”
Sylvester hopes to run the Farm Women Friday series through Labor Day, provided she has enough women willing to be featured. She said the first installment of the series on Heather Clopper, a Caroline County, Md., grain and poultry farmer, brought in a “ton of first time visitors all over the U.S.”
Anyone wishing to suggest someone for the series can comment on her blog site, storyworthtelling.blogspot.com, or write to her Twitter account, @carabecca.
“I’m hoping to have someone that will connect with every reader,” she said. “The more people that read it the more they will understand the people behind this farms.”