LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The 2022 Kentucky State Fair is a time where farmers from all over our Commonwealth can show off their best livestock, but it continues to largely be a male dominated industry. Morgan Berryman, a 19-year-old from Nicholasville, is changing that.
What You Need To Know
- Morgan Berryman is a 19-year-old female cattle farmer from Nicholasville
- Berryman works on her family farm Berryman Farm, will attend the University of Kentucky this fall
- The teenager has been competing in livestock showings at the Kentucky State Fair since she was old enough to
- Berryman is a part of a 90-year-old legacy of farming and showing at the Kentucky State Fair
This year there were over 21,000 entries for agriculture related fields at the Kentucky State Fair. Of course, that included livestock — so for showings, the competition was stiff. Morgan Berryman, a 19-year-old from Nicholasville who works on her family’s farm, won it all.
She was awarded the title of ‘Grand Champion Female Guernsey’ at the 2022 Kentucky State Fair. Berryman has been showing at Broadbent Arena at the state fair for as long as she can remember.
“This kind of ribbon here, the division showmanship champion, I probably have six or seven of those on my wall at home!” said Berryman.
Berryman knows it’s less about winning and more about getting dirty. She’s a part of a rich family legacy of cattle farming, which sometimes can be very dirty. That part, she said, is “annoying” but she knows it’s well worth it when she’s defying the odds by being a woman in the cattle farming industry.
“It is a male dominated industry but females can do it too,” she said. “You just put your mind to it and you can do it.”
She’s proving that with lifting these bales of hay and managing cattle that weigh nearly 1,500 pounds is possible for women. Berryman comes off of a Grand Champion title just like she would any win.
“They just got done showing in the ring, so now they’re just relaxing for the rest of the night,” Berryman of her cattle.
From birth, Berryman has been a part of a 90-year family tradition of farming and showing at the state fair. Her family owns Berryman Farm in Nicholasville with dozens of cattle. It was founded in 1933. Of course, after any big win, she knows there’s dirty work involved.
“There is a pile of poop right here to pick up… if you want the real experience [of cattle farming],” Berryman joked.
The latest Census data reveals Kentucky has 42,946 women farmers. Which is up over 36% from the last census when that number was 35,433. As large as those numbers seem, Berryman said people still tell her farming isn’t for women.
“People telling me that I can’t do something, that makes me want to do it a hundred times more,” said Berryman.
The 19-year-old has her sights set on taking over her family farm one day with her brother. Berryman will start college this week at the University of Kentucky pursuing a bachelor’s degree. After that, she will attend veterinary school to study large animal science.