Name: Jenna Martin
Hometown: Hickory Ridge, AR
Title/Position: Co-partner at Martin Farms
Briefly describe your role: I assist on our family farm of 1,900 acres from planting to irrigation to harvest. I was the grain cart driver this fall and hope to learn how to drive the big trucks in the upcoming years.
Q: Is what you’re doing now what you always pictured you would do?
A: Growing up, I knew I wanted to pursue a degree and future in agriculture, but I was excited when I realized that I was drawn to the production side. I had tried Ag related jobs that were inside and found out quickly that I was hands on and enjoyed being outside. I steadily found myself coming back to the farm and wanting to learn more.
Q: What do you see as the greatest challenges for women in your chosen industry? What are the greatest opportunities?
A: As a woman in agriculture, females seem to be accepted by the public more than they were 20 years ago. Since females are a minority, I see many opportunities whether it be directly on the farm or in any Ag career. Many programs through NRCS or FSA are available for female farmers. As far as challenges, there are times I get frustrated since I wish to know and be able to do all that my dad does, but I have to realize that with age comes experience. Because of my stature, there are times I’m not physically able to do things like my dad, leaving me to find a different route around the obstacle – think and work smarter not harder.
Q: Who has inspired you in your life/career?
A: Throughout my life, I have always been surrounded by positive people who have influenced me in the Ag field, whether it be my local community, family, farming friends, extension personnel, ag industry leaders, or professors. It’s helped create a go-to hub of people for me when I have questions, need advice, or encouragement.
Q: What advice would you give to an aspiring professional?
A: From the age of five until age 19, I was involved in 4-H which gave me the opportunity to build connections with people in the industry from the start. Through college at EACC and A-State, I continued to meet new people and learn from them and through that I was able to build connections and friendships. I encourage others to build a strong network to help them in their future endeavors and to get immersed in organizations whose values align with your own.
Q: What’s been your secret to success?
A: Communicate, listen, and learn as much as possible from those who have been in the industry longer than you have. Those individuals are like walking textbooks of information that can be very useful.