7 keys to learn from Ree Drummond 'The Pioneer Woman'

Ree Drummond, a.k.a. The Pioneer Woman, was recently in Fargo for the Eco Chic Design Conference. I consider Ree Drummond and her family some of today's greatest agriculture advocates and strive to learn from their efforts.


Ree Drummond, a.k.a. The Pioneer Woman , was recently in Fargo for the Eco Chic Design Conference . I consider Ree Drummond and her family some of today's greatest agriculture advocates and strive to learn from their efforts.

I attended the design conference because our family business, Pinke Homes, was a sponsor and had a booth. While there, I had the opportunity to visit with Ree, who I've met a couple of times and loosely kept in touch with via social media. Like millions of others, I read her blog and watch her Food Network television show . I've cooked my way through her four cookbooks since 2010 (and gained weight from scores of yummy new recipes).

Recipes or not, I respect Ree more than other bloggers and television personalities because she's stayed true to her voice and values. Years ago, she shared advice at a Blogher event that has stuck with me. Referring to the Prayer of St. Francis, she said she works to keep a peaceful home and to "never let hate enter your home."

There is a lot of ugly when you're a content creator, both online and offline, even if you're writing a column in Agweek or a little blog on the prairie for the past 10 years like me.

Here are seven keys I've learned from Ree Drummond to be a strong influence for agriculture and food:


  1. Find your voice. For me, that meant digging in and establishing who I am and focusing my advocacy efforts around my passions, rather than copying someone else. Ree said, "Do not emulate someone else's voice. It has to be your own."
  2. Keep your eye on your content. As Ree shared, there are always search engine optimization tricks to get people to click on your website and content, but it's important to create your own niche. If you want to start or change a conversation on topics that revolve around your passions, consistently create content and make sure our good friend Google finds it so others will too. "I want people to come back and for my blog to be fun," Ree said.
  3. Don't overthink. During a dinner at the design conference and in an interview with Maria Bosak, owner and founder of Eco Chic , Ree shared that she started blogging on free software (while probably wearing maternity yoga pants with holes). She had a goal and just went for it, rather than stalling out because she was overwhelmed with where it might lead. You don't have to be perfect, but you have to keep going.
  4. You don't need to be an expert. In my opinion, Ree Drummond is an agriculture advocate. Most of her readers and fans don't see her as that, but I do because I'm rooted in ag and rural America. "I didn't set out to be an agriculture advocate, but I am happy to be one." Ree said. "I'm not an agriculture expert. My kids and husband are." Her blog and Food Network followers see "a side of America most have never seen before ... they are seeing agricultural activities," she noted.
  5. Set your process. Your content, your voice and how you share it aren't going to look or be the same as others - and that's OK. Be comfortable in who you are and what you're doing, but don't be afraid to evolve along the way. As Ree said, "Develop your process - the more you do it, the more comfortable you'll be."
  6. Don't overload yourself. I've learned the importance of this point by trial and error in my own work and personal life. In order to avoid overloading herself, Ree stays as close to home the majority of the time, spends her evenings with her husband and children and reads Psalms every morning.
  7. Be consistently kind and joyful. Why would Ree Drummond visit Fargo in April? Ree told me, as we ate chicken piccata and whiskey cherry cheesecake shooters at dinner, that Maria Bosak and the Eco Chic team are "consistently kind" and for that reason she wanted to be a part of what's a relatively small event in Fargo. Later, with design conference attendees, she shared that her mother and grandmother had joyous personalities, so joy is her default. Distractions and too many commitments can "edge out joy" she shared. As a woman, mother, wife and passionate agriculture advocate myself, Ree is consistently kind in her content, which I admire.

Regardless of your connections, agriculture and those far from the farm fields and pastures can learn from Ree's example while cooking up one of her new recipes. I bet they can learn from you as well. Find your voice and share your passions.

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