Both of Meritt Dickerson-Weed’s grandfathers grew up on farms and sold them when they got married. She has always had a strong connection to the land growing up with chickens, a garden, etc. When she was in college, her connection to the land reignited and she found herself working on a few small organic farms. This is where she met her future husband.
Meritt is currently in her early twenties and working with her fiancée on their 2,000-acre family farm that is in a conservation easement. Meritt feels like everything that goes on in the soil goes beyond her and that it is so important to keep it healthy. Farming gives her this purpose and a sense of belonging.
She says the soil health learning circle she attended at the 2020 National No-Till Conference was so inspiring, commenting that everyone was so wonderful and in their own ways involved on the farm, some more than others. Meritt sees her role on the farm as being a leader and is active in conversations that relate directly to things like: how much seed they will need, what types of soil tests do they need done, and how can they continue to incorporate conservation practices on their land.
Meritt expressed that the soil health experiments done at the learning circle she attended reaffirmed many of her thoughts on soil health she had but couldn’t clearly see. In addition, she said the circle introduced her to a lot of programs and resources that she wasn’t aware of.
Meritt emphasized that she wants respect at the same level as her partner in the farming industry —and the learning circle definitely provided some base knowledge to get her comfortable talking more.
Farming is everyone’s bread and butter, we all need it, we may not understand it, but it’s important. Because the land is so important to Meritt and it goes beyond her, she is fearful that as a next generation farmer she won’t have all the resources and tools she needs to be able to succeed. Meritt said she is hopeful though and she hopes that more women can lift one another up to help each other succeed.