var _gaq = _gaq || []; _gaq.push(['_setAccount', 'UA-16049511-2']); _gaq.push(['_trackPageview']); (function() { var ga = document.createElement('script'); ga.type = 'text/javascript'; ga.async = true; ga.src = ('https:' == document.location.protocol ? 'https://ssl' : 'http://www') + ''; var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s); })();

North Carolina Women Talk Agricultural Issues


Lorenda Overman, along with her husband farms a diversified row crop and hog operation in Wayne County, NC. Lorenda, a self-professed city girl that married into farming, and while hard work, wouldn’t have it any other way:

“it’s a great way to raise children and work together with a common goal. You see the hard work pay off from year to year and you also go through the lean years together which strengthens the relationships.”

And at least one of her children is coming back to the farm:

“Our daughter has decided to come back to the farm and I know several other young women who have decided to stay on the farm. They diversify the agriculture in new ways because they have new ideas. Its great to see young women choosing agriculture as their way of life.”

While Lorenda’s primary responsibility on the farm is that of the ‘money man’, she’s also heavily involved in Farm Bureau as a state and national advocate for agriculture:

“I have been in the Wayne County Farm Bureau as part of the local women’s committee for thirty years now. About five years ago I was asked to be on the state level women’s committee as a representative for Wayne County. Last year I took on the role as Vice Chair for the Women for the North Carolina Farm Bureau, in this role I serve on the American Farm Bureau women’s committee.”

With her involvement with Farm Bureau, both as a representative from Wayne County, and from North Carolina, Lorenda has made several trips to Washington to speak to elected officials about ag:

“The Farm Bureau works hard. They have lobbyists that work year round to develop relationships with the Congressman and the aides. We go up to Washington to enhance those relationships and give a personal face to the stories that we have to tell about what they are doing is affecting the farm. A lot of times the Congressman are removed from agriculture, so it helps to have a face and a story that they connect the importance of what they are doing.”

The most recently defeated Department of Labor Proposed Regulations that would have curtailed children of farm families from working on the farm is considered a victory by Lorenda and others that lobbied against it in Washington earlier this year:

“That was one thing we talked about when we went on Capitol Hill. We talked about how important that issue was not only from a labor stand point but to instill responsibility and get the children active and give them a sense of purpose. We talked to them on Tuesday and on Thursday they made the ruling. I was part of thirty women who went to speak that day and I feel we made a difference.”

Lorenda plans another trip to DC next month with the North Carolina group to discuss other important issues to farming:

“We have three really big issues that we are working on now that I will go back in September to speak about. One of them is the inheritance tax; if we can’t pass down our land from generation to generation and have to pay each time, that will just break the family farm. We really have to get that death tax handled in a feasible way. We also need to work on the Clean Water Act. It’s been on the table for several years now. They are trying to regulate run offs and puddles in your backyard, and it’s just way too much. It needs to be navigable waters and not just all waters. The third issue is the Farm Bill. In North Carolina we have been receiving direct payment from the government to help subsidize the difference between the market cost and the cost of growing the crop. The new Farm Bill takes direct payment completely off the table.”

While Lorenda is the primary ring leader as far as advocacy in their operation, her husband is also involved with Farm Bureau at the state level:

“He is also on the State Board of Directors for the NC Farm Bureau. He has traveled to Raleigh several times to talk with legislators. It makes it harder to get out and do the political action stuff that needs to be done because someone has to be in the fields. I have chosen to be the voice for our farm.”

Lorenda Overman farmer and agricultural advocate from Wayne County, North Carolina. for more of our Women in Agriculture Profiles,cllck here is dedicated to serving the agricultural industry in the Carolinas and Virginia with the latest ag news, exclusive regional weather station readings, and key crop market information. The website is a companion of the Southern Farm Network, provider of daily agricultural radio programming to the Carolinas since 1974. presents radio programs, interviews and news relevant to crop and livestock production and research throughout the mid-Atlantic agricultural community.