By Doug Graves
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Savannah Robin, a cattle farmer, entrepreneur and educator from Paris, Ky., has been named the 2023 Kentucky Farm Woman of the Year. The award is presented annually by Kentucky Farm Bureau.
Robin, and her husband, Ben, own and co-manage Robin Ridge Farms with their three daughters, where they raise beef cattle, sheep, goats and cut flowers. In addition to her farm work, Robin is also a lecturer of career and professional development for the Martin-Gatton University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment Equine Programs. In this role, she oversees the equine internship program along with the career and professional development for more than 300 students enrolled in the equine science and management undergraduate program.
Robin is active within Kentucky’s equine industry and serves as a liaison between businesses, organizations, and farms to offer a connection for UK students to the equine industry in central Kentucky and across the U.S.
“Faith, family and agriculture are my life’s calling, and I am so proud to be able to positively impact my community while helping provide for my family,” Robin said. “As my little girls grow up, I want them to recognize that as females they have a unique skillset and approach to things, even cattle farming, that should be embraced and celebrated. There are no limits to what we can do on a farm, for agriculture, and for our community.”
Robin maintains the farm website, marketing material, email lists, and social media presence. Her entrepreneurial approach to bring agriculture to new markets has also seen great success. For example, she established corporate partnerships with local businesses to provide employee Christmas gift packages with locally sourced farm products, and she works with her students to coordinate the UK Ag Equine Career Fair.
“Savannah embodies the spirit of the hardworking farm women across Kentucky,” said Mark Haney, president of Kentucky Farm Bureau.
Robin has spearheaded efforts to build and maintain food pantries and lead an agricultural and farm bureau day at her local Chamber of Commerce. She is also an active member of her church and prioritizes donating 10 percent of each farm animal harvested to a local food pantry.
Two other finalists for the Kentucky Farm Woman of the Year were Joan Hayden and Kim Jones.
Hayden, of Daviess County, and her husband, Martin, have been farming since 1983. Hayden’s Farms LLC consists of eight poultry houses and a 200 cow/calf operation with four more poultry houses that they manage. Their son, Daniel, has now taken over farming operations.
Jones, of Marion County, is the owner and operator with her husband of Jones Dairy, where they run cow/calf operations and crop land. Jones works in all parts of the farming operation – milking, feeding, managing the dairy herd, planting and harvesting crops, and implementing management decisions.
A few of her farming accomplishments include breeding Wagyu-Holstein cows, running the corn chopper, and working with Farm Service Agency and conservation offices to help with environmental stewardship and soil and water protection.
Jones serves on the county Farm Bureau of Women’s Committee, where she volunteers her time to help with food check-out day, setting up for meetings, and reading books to school children. She is also involved with numerous other farming committees to help support Kentucky agriculture.
She is involved in her church, where she has been a religious education teacher for 18 years. She is chairperson of the kitchen for their church picnic and works the gate at her local fair.