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Happy Mother’s Day from NK Seeds

NK Sales Representative Valarie Worthen celebrates her first Mother’s Day, recognizes the adaptability of all “farm moms” and parents in the ag industry

Mother's Day Valerie Worthen

This Mother’s Day, NK Seeds celebrates all the moms who work hard to balance family and career — and we know that few industries require more hard work and flexibility than farming and agriculture. From sales to agronomy, marketing to research, we have lots of hard-working mothers on the NK team. This Mother’s Day, we recognize one of our newest NK moms.

As the mother of a 4-month-old daughter, Adaline, NK Seed Sales Representative Valarie Worthen will celebrate a very special Mother’s Day this year. She’s looking forward to raising her family on a farm and appreciates the unique skills and childhood memories that only farm life can offer.

“She’s just an infant now, but one day, I hope that Adaline gets to learn to drive the tractors and help plant and harvest so she can tell her classmates about all the amazing things she can do,” says Valarie. “Those classmates may look at her funny if they’re not from a farm background, but those skills and work ethic are apt to give her the upper hand later in life.”

In addition to supporting ag retailers, Valarie and her husband, Creed, live on their own 40-acre farm in Murphysboro, Illinois. And while Valarie says there’s a lot to balance, she wouldn’t trade it for the world. “All parents who work in ag, whether they work on a farm or in agribusiness, have a demanding job in an industry that’s always changing,” she says. “Add a young child or a family to the mix, and it can be challenging, but there’s nothing more rewarding.”

While Valarie is still learning to balance motherhood and a career, it didn’t take her long to find out that flexibility is key. “By nature, those who work in agriculture tend to be pretty adaptable,” she says. “We are as flexible as we need to be to get the job done.” This looks different for every family, but Valarie feels fortunate to work at a job where she’s often able to bring Adaline along. “Just yesterday, Adaline went with me on a plot seed run, and she put smiles on peoples’ faces,” she shares. “We’re still figuring it out, whether that means taking her with us when we can or taking turns working remotely so the other can go to the field. That’s our job as parents.”

She notes that childcare resources can be scarce in rural communities, where daycare centers often have long waiting lists. Fortunately, rural America is also home to a very strong, understanding community. “Everyone I’ve worked with since I’ve been back from maternity leave has been very understanding that I have an infant right now, and it’s been kind of fun to introduce her to those I work with and support,” she says.

As a new mom, Valarie welcomes “any and all” advice from other working moms who have already established a balance. She also offers her own words of wisdom to other moms in ag. “Just keep chugging along!” she encourages. “It’s a hard job, but one that’s surrounded in a lot of positive light. That being said, everyone has a bad day, and we need to realize that it’s OK to not be OK once in a while.”

Despite the big responsibilities on her own plate, Valarie wants to lift up other moms.

“I’m here to be everyone’s biggest cheerleader and to talk to them about anything — the good stuff and the hard stuff,” she says. “We are one big community, and we’re all going through similar things, so it’s important to support and celebrate each other.”

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