Women in Agriculture

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The women below have generously agreed to act as mentors for other women who may have questions about their different industries.  You can click on each industry to read a short bio about the mentor, and please feel free to reach out with any questions you may have.

 

Poultry

Jacki Easter
19570 Oakwood Lane
Jetersville, Virginia 23083
jacki@theeasters.net
804-561-3902
804-561-7699  
I am very passionate about and dedicated to agriculture. That passion comes from my life experiences and I am proud to be a fifth generation farmer.

I was born on a small dairy farm not far from where my family and I own and operate our farm today. I grew up on a small grain and livestock farm in Powhatan County, that farm was very diverse - we raised everything from grains, to sheep and cattle and a farrow to finish hog operation. My father retired from the Virginia Department of Agriculture after a long and distinguished career.

I received my graduate and undergraduate degrees from Longwood University. A good deal of my off the farm work has been in education. My undergraduate degrees are in Food and Nutrition and Mathematics. My graduate degrees are in Supervision and Administration. I have taught from Kindergarten to Calculus been a Middle School and Elementary School assistant principal and director of technology.

My sisters and I were very active in our 4-H club and it was through 4-H I met my husband, Howard J. Easter III

Howard and I built our first poultry houses so I could stay home and have an income and raise our sons. We can document our farm has been in the family for over 75 years. We built a greenhouse and raised hydroponic tomatoes until my appointment to Farm Service Agency when we donated it to the high school. Over the years our family farm has grown into several diversified operations. We have incorporated the farm with our construction business and operate under the name Easter Design Inc.

Today, the farm consists of 5 broiler houses we contract with Tyson Foods a commercial cow calf operation and small acreage of corn, soy beans and wheat. We raise a little over a million chickens a year. We raise about a dozen calves a year for beef for our local customers. We also clean out other growers poultry houses and land apply the litter for organic fertilizer. In the past we raise organic poultry for Tyson Foods, Inc. The greatest accomplishment of our farm is both sons chose to build their homes and raise their families on the farm. All 5 grandchildren love the animals and like to be involved in activities. The two oldest grandsons have continued the family 4-H tradition.

After leaving my career in education in 1994 to farm full time I became actively involved in Farm Bureau serving on the State Board and being very active in such issues as the regulation of the poultry industry. I was select as Farm Woman of the Year. I believe it was this involvement that lead to my appointment as State Executive Director for Farm Service Agency for 6 years under the Bush Administration. This was a huge accomplishment for a little girl born on a dairy farm. The skills I learned in 4-H and through Farm Bureau served me well as State Director.

I have served on the Virginia 4-H Foundation Board of Directors and the Virginia Ag in the Classroom Foundation Board.

I am devoted to Agriculture and believe we are the solution to a lot of today’s problems – to me it is the logical place to grow jobs. Without our own safe food supply we have no national security.