December 2, 2021

Documentary on women in farming to feature Truxton resident

‘I love being with my cows’

Shenandoah Briere/contributing photographer

Anna Williams, of Ullrich Farms in Truxton, herds her cows Monday at her family farm. Williams is one of four women featured in the documentary film titled “Her Farm.”

As Anna Williams clicked her tongue and snapped her fingers, the cows started standing one by one and began their trek across the pasture back to their stalls.

Williams is in the process of fully taking over her family’s organic dairy farm — Ullrich Farms in Truxton. She is also one of four women being featured in a documentary about women in farming.

“I wanted to do this film so I could highlight how women have the opportunity to take over their family farms now,” said Dan Foss, whose company is creating the film.

A short clip of the film, titled “Her Farm,” will be shown Friday in Truxton and people can ask questions and meet Williams, according to Foss.

Foss, who used to own and operate a dairy farm a couple miles from Williams, said the film originally started off as a piece on kids moving away from their family farms and the business.

However, after talking to Williams and her mother, Foss said he knew the story had to change to being about women and farming.

“It was quite evident where this story needed to go and Anna was the perfect character,” he said.

Foss said he isn’t looking to push a feminist agenda with the piece but rather show people what women can do and acknowledge that times have changed where now daughters are being looked at to take over a farm, where before it was usually the son.

At 27, Williams has spent every day working on the farm since she could walk. Her mother and uncle started the farm back in the 1980s.

Williams oversees 200 acres of land and 55 cows. She said taking over the farm is a bit horrifying.

“We don’t have any extra help on this farm,” she said. So when her parents retire, it’s all up to Williams.

“My workload has increased a lot and my responsibilities have increased,” she said.

However, she doesn’t mind it at all — farming and the cows are her family. She can even remember all of her cows names, she said as she told Tioughnioga to get a move on while herding the cows across the pasture.

“I love the jobs no one else wants to do,” she said. “I love milking my cows. I love being with my cows.”

Foss said part of doing the documentary is to show people that farming is “a lifestyle, it’s not a job.”

Williams said cows are living and breathing and need to be looked after every day, but that’s OK.

“I’m pretty content with my lifestyle,” she said. “The farm is the heart of our family.”

Foss sad he hopes to have the documentary finished by May.