March is Women’s History Month and according to USDA, nearly a third of our nation’s famers are women, generating $12.9 billion in annual agriculture sales. Women are involved in other areas of agriculture as well: scientist, veterinarians, policy makers, business owners, and many more. Women have an increasing presence in agriculture, which will continue to grow. The Utah Farm Bureau Federation & American Farm Bureau are taking the time to highlight women in agriculture.
Vicky Osguthorpe-Better Than Diamonds
Vicky was born to Lewis and Victoria Leatham of Park City, Utah. She grew up in the then small mining town where she created many happy childhood memories with friends and family, including her two older brothers. Her father was a miner and died of “Black Lung Disease” when she was 15.
“We survived and made the best of everything,” Vicky said. “You have to carry on and keep on going.”
She met her husband, Steve Osguthorpe, in Park City when he would come to work on his grandfather’s ranch. Steve said the first time he saw Vicky she was babysitting some children and was out on a balcony.
“I was driving up through old town Park City,” Steve Osguthorpe said. “I saw her and said ‘I’d like to meet her’.”
Steve and Vicky were married in 1970, and together raised 7 children and have 17 grandchildren. They have a sheep ranch in Park City and Delta and grow alfalfa, oats, corn and grain. Their children and grandchildren all enjoy coming together to work and help for big events, like sheep-shearing.
“Vicky is the glue that holds the whole outfit and family together,” Steve said. “She’s involved in everything we do on the ranch.”
Steve said Vicky feeds everyone, hauls calves, drives the trucks and changes sprinklers, among other things.
“She said the best present she ever got was a center pivot,” Steve said. “She would rather have that than a diamond.”
Even though it’s hard work, Vicky said that she really loves her job.
“You know that you’re doing good; clothing and feeding people,” Vicky said. “It makes me feel good and important.”
Vicky said that when her son told her he wanted his kids to grow up the same way he did, she knew she had done something right in the world. But Vicky also knows the challenges that come with modern farming and ranching. Throughout changing economies and constant trials and tests she remains humble and determined in her industry.
“It’s not all peaches and cream,” She said. “You just have to keep on fighting. Never give up.”