“I love the character of the people in the ag business – hard working – honest – people of integrity – a desire to make the world a better place with a hand up; not a hand out,” said Linda Galayda, also known as Texas Rancher Girl.
Linda Jordens Galayda grew up on a ranch in Katy, Texas where her family farmed rice and raised cattle. From a young age, her father always told her that she could be anything she wanted to be. As she explains in her blog, Galayda went from herding cattle to herding “cats” in New York City where her career in fashion took her places like Paris, London and Madrid. However, in 2001 upon her father’s passing, Galayda returned to the ranch and became the daily enforcer of all things on the 7-7 Ranch.
Here is an excerpt from the Texas Rancher Girl’s blog: Ranchers are quick to tell you that everyone puts their pants on the same way. So my Dad did not care who – what designer – dignitary – celebrity I had dined with. Nor did he care about the chic new restaurant or club we had dined in. Weekends belonged to the ranch. There was hay to haul – pastures to mow – fences to mend – cows to work. So I spent Monday through Friday in a fast paced world of fashion but home was always back at the ranch. It certainly kept me grounded. I would go from whistling down cabs to whistling in my horses – skyscrapers to barns – executives to cowboys – delis and 4 star restaurants to campfires and chuck wagon cooking – drivers and limos to pick-up trucks and trailers – fast talk to slow talk – Broadway stars to star studded night skies at the ranch.
Q. If you could go back in time and give yourself advice during your first years of being a rancher, what would you say?
Ranching takes a great deal of courage. I have no trouble being fearless – but I do make everyone a little crazy with my energy and my passion for ranching. I am all business and I tell things like I see them. I study relentlessly and am willing to work 24-7 to execute an idea. I have a family that I love dearly. Since ranching can be so all consuming, I think my advice would be to try to slow down every now and then and not miss out on other aspects of life. Never mind about smelling the roses – I have a tendency to run over the entire flower bed.
Q. Is there any moment during your career so far that made you realize you were doing exactly what you were destined to do?
I really have not had any AHA moments. I think of my life as chapters. To use an old saying of my Mom’s -“Bloom where you are planted and God will move you to a bigger pot.”
I loved my childhood chapter on a ranch – filled with love, education, and adventure. I loved my career chapter that was filled with travel, fascinating people, the thrill of the deal, and the world of fashion. And I love my chapter as a woman running, managing, and participating in all the many aspects of ranching. I believe it is all about “passion”. I am passionate about ranching and I love what I am doing. That tells me I am exactly where God wants me to be.
Q. What is the hardest thing (if anything) about being a woman in the ag field?
My Dad died in 2001 and I came back to the ranch. Believe me, the biggest transition is that of becoming THE decision maker. I grew up on a ranch and my Dad made us strong thinkers and was always asking us what we thought about many different decisions that needed to be made but the final decision always belonged to him. He prepared me well and I was able to make that transition. But I think ranching is still dominated by men who are actually running the ranch so women actually running the ranch and making the decisions – that is an adjustment for some. Men have to know you are serious and that you don’t think ranching is horseback riding into the sunset or some other romantic fantasy. Ranching is a business and I have had to earn a seat at the table.
Q. In your opinion, what do you think is the most important aspect of Texas agriculture?
Texas agriculture is amazing. I am a graduate of TALL XIII (Texas Agricultural Lifetime Leadership). We were able to travel, visit farms and ranches, engage in political dialogue, and see the broad scope of our Texas agricultural landscape and all the businesses that it touches. I believe our most important aspect is to tell our suburban friends about the food they eat, where it came from, what ACTUALLY went into the production, and who the farmer/rancher really is. Our farmers and ranchers need to be protected. We are the food source and there is nothing more important than clean-healthy food.
Story by Tara Hale
View the original story here – http://talesbytara.com/1/post/2017/01/texas-rancher-girl-womeninagwednesday.html