As a mother of three – two boys and a daughter – Miranda Wyum and her family are very busy.
“We farm and ranch in southeast North Dakota, near the Sheyenne grasslands.”
And while some may see farming and ranching as typically a male occupation, Miranda grew up with only sisters and knows how hard women work.
“My dad gave us all boy nicknames, and we were raised knowing and expecting that we can do anything anyone else can,” she said. “That’s how I raise my kids. My daughter is a ‘girly-girl.’ She comes out and does chores in glitter and pink but then goes and climbs trees with her brothers. She can do anything she wants, and so can her brothers.”
As a more recently active North Dakota Farmers Union member, Miranda and her family are becoming involved in all NDFU has to offer, such as WILD.
Miranda is very involved in other leadership groups, including the District Cattlewomen’s group and 4-H. While being involved in these groups is important to her, Miranda says her more valued leadership experiences are the one-on-one interactions within the groups.
“Interactions with different people in the organizations and outside of them helps you share the message of your organization and help them as well.”
When asked about the women she looks up to most and why, Miranda said it would be her grandma Violet for her positive attitude and her mother, for being a support system for her family and being there – which she considers one of the most important aspects of leadership.
“Be there. Whether you’re in leadership or not, it’s important.”
While she is still getting started in life as far as her family goes, she also considers them her greatest achievement.
“We have started getting more involved in the community, and I see my kids turning into leaders themselves,” Miranda said. “My youngest (a first-grader), has started nominating other kids in his 4-H group for leadership positions as well!”
Miranda said taking on extra responsibilities outside the farm and ranch can frighten some.
“Don’t be intimidated by what you perceive are the duties of a position,” she said. “Just show up. You fall into roles of leadership, leadership isn’t an elected position.”
She also insists women encourage women, as that is an important part of what she considers leadership.
As far as who has influenced her the most in her life? Miranda didn’t narrow it down to a specific person, but rather described it as “anyone that has encouraged me and was confident in my abilities. When I was younger, it was my FFA advisor, now my husband, who has told me to just do it! And my neighbor has told me I will be great at the positions I am elected in. Those are the people that influence me.”
And what advice does Miranda have for women looking to get involved?
“Just show up and encourage those around you. If someone encourages you, they might see something in you that you don’t, so listen to them!”
– Brittany Lipetzky, NDFU