Shelly Boshart Davis, an Albany, Ore., farmer who grows grass seed, wheat, radishes, hazelnuts and bales grass straw, garnered the most online votes to capture the title of 2015 Farm Mom of the Year.
She is the first Oregonian to become either a regional or national winner.
Davis was one of five women who were recognized at the end of April as a regional finalist in the program. All of them, including Davis, Megan Seibel, Roanoke, Va.; Shelley Heinrich, Lubbock, Texas; Amy Kelsay, Franklin, Ind.; Sara Ross, Minden, Iowa, were selected by both the American Agri-Women and Monsanto for their dedication and commitment to their families, farms, communities and the agriculture industry.
From April 24 and through May 5, America voted for one of the five regional finalists to be named the national winner. All five women will receive $5,000, while Davis will receive an additional $5,000 for securing the most votes.
"All of these women are so passionate about everything they do – from their families to agriculture – that their spirit is contagious," says Tracy Mueller, corporate brand manager for Monsanto. "They are even more impressive in person than they were represented in their nominations. It's energizing to be around them, and we're looking forward to hearing more about them in the coming year."
About 2015 Farm Mom Shelly Boshart Davis
Davis had multiple nominations for the America's Farmers Mom of the Year contest. She's particularly proud of them as they came from people outside of agriculture, showing that people within their community are starting to hear about and understand their farming story.
Davis has a unique perspective on agriculture as her family not only grows their product themselves, but through their trucking company, is able to transport it to the coast and ship it overseas to international markets they helped develop. As one of her nominators pointed out, it highlights Davis' experience and love for the industry as well as the future of her community.
"Most recently Shelly has been on the forefront of trying to resolve the Northwest port crisis," wrote Janet Steele, president of the Albany Chamber of Commerce. "Helping her family run their business, Boshart Trucking, she learned first-hand the havoc the slowdown and closures have had on the ag industry and other businesses. She's been a strong and vocal advocate, testifying at the state level and helping find a solution that will bring the ports back to their full strength."
Davis is involved in her local community and the ag industry in a variety of ways, including participating in the Adopt-a-farmer program, consulting with Oregon State University, and speaking publicly at events.
"Shelly is a silent giant who walks amongst us all and never brings attention to herself," wrote Greg Roe of United Way of Linn County. "She always has a hand out to help, give, do or listen. Her days are 16 hours on a normal basis, but she will take on more."
But with all of that, it's clear Davis places the highest importance on her partnership with her husband, Geoff, and her role as mom to her three daughters – her "most important crop."
What's life like for farm moms and farm wives? Check out Confessions of a Farm Wife podcasts with Holly Spangler & friends