CommonGround is a national movement of farm women who want to share information about farming and the food they grow. Consumers in the cities and suburbs are more disconnected from farm life than ever before, and that disconnect has led to misconceptions about modern farming and the people behind it. We’re a group of Kentucky farm women working to help dispel myths and build trust in farm families again. We want to answer questions and share facts as well as our personal stories of Kentucky farming life. Please join us in finding our CommonGround.
Carrie’s love for farming runs deep. She represents the seventh generation to farm on her family’s land in Morganfield, Kentucky. Growing up raising row crops, forage and beef cattle instilled in her the desire to ensure that her children have the opportunity to be the eighth generation to carry on the family tradition. Carrie married Curt Divine, and they have two children, Coy and Cailey.
Devoted and busy accurately describe Carrie. She serves as the Young Farmer chair for Union County Farm Bureau and created the “Bushels for Books” program that placed over 1,000 agriculturally accurate books in Union County school libraries and daycare centers. In addition, Carrie serves as treasurer of the Union County 4-H Council and a volunteer leader, was the past president of the Morganfield Lions Club and the Union County Extension Council, is a member of St. Ann Catholic Church and has been active in many community activities.
Despite her full schedule, she responded with an enthusiastic “yes” when presented with the opportunity to serve as a volunteer in the CommonGround Kentucky program. In this role, she has the opportunity to have direct conversations with consumers who may have never been on a farm about the truth of where their food comes from and how it is raised.
Twitter: @Carrie Divine
Ronza was born and raised on a dairy farm in McCracken County Kentucky. In 1990, her family began raising broiler chickens for Seaboard Farms in Mayfield, Kentucky. She was involved in FFA in high school and college, and served as a state officer in 2000-01. She holds a degree in agriculture education from Murray State University.
For the last 7 years, Ronza has been working as a technician for Pilgrim’s, a vertically integrated chicken company. “It made sense to take a job doing something I knew and loved. Plus, I have trained in all the company departments and gained a true understanding for each phase involved in getting chicken to market.” Most recently, Ronza and her husband leased her parent’s broiler chicken farm and are now raising broilers for Pilgrim’s. Something, she says she hopes to continue for many years.
On paper, Ashley’s story will first sound very typical. Her husband is Aaron Reding, and they have three children: Kathryn, Andrew and Adam. They manage Homestead Family Farms (growing soybeans, corn and winter wheat) as a family operation with Aaron’s parents, Mark and Barb Reding; his sister, Anna Reding Watson; and partners, Michael and Nora McCain. Beyond these basic facts, Ashley’s story proves to be anything but farm-typical.
Ashley did not grow up on a farm, and she will readily share that she hates to get dirty. She lived “in the city” and chose to study business in college. After receiving a Bachelors of Science degree in business management and decision science and information systems from the University of Kentucky, Ashley held several business positions. But after 11 years of marriage to Aaron, she finally dipped her toes into the world of agriculture by joining the farm as a part-time employee in 2009. As things tend to go, one thing led to another, and Ashley became a full-time managing partner at Homestead Family Farms with a focus on human resources, public relations and landowner relations. Putting her business savvy to work, she also developed the farm’s website and social media sites and manages them along with her other tasks.
Ashley still does not like to get dirty, but she has come to respect the “dirt.” She loves that she can use her knowledge to help grow the farm. No dirt required.
Facebook: Homestead Family Farms