Kaydee Caldwell and her mom, Dawn, at their ranch in north central Kansas.

Dear Food-Loving Americans,

I want to tell you about someone who helps put food on your table — my mom. My mom doesn’t just feed our family, she helps feed approximately 120 additional people between the beef we raise and crops we grow on my family’s farm. So today, in honor of Mother’s Day, I’d like to share why I am so proud to be the daughter of Dawn Caldwell.

My brother, Emmett, and I were exposed to agriculture VERY early in life, and I am proud of that. The reason we were exposed to agriculture, aside from growing up on a farm, is because of my mom. My mom is not like other moms. Sure, she cooks and cleans, she takes care of all of the housework, takes care of us kids, but when she goes out, she is what I like to call the “mom of agriculture.”

Let me explain what this means. In addition to her job off of the farm and taking care of our land and animals, mom is a volunteer for the program called CommonGround. This means she goes out and talks to people, usually from cities, who are confused about the food choices they are making. For example, someone might have questions about popular food issues like antibiotics in meat or GMO corn, and my mom will help answer those questions. When I go with her, I see how she talks to the people — she is just very open, and they can ask her any question. Most importantly, she is honest. Watching her is like watching a superhero. BAM, BAM, BAM! Answer. Answer. Answer. The reason she is like that is because everything she shares is the truth. She knows it. She has done all of her own research and mixes it with what we do on our farm. I have to admit, if she wouldn’t have started talking to moms about food and where it comes from, I wouldn’t be talking to kids my own age about the same issues.

Just watching her talk and “agvocate” makes me understand and appreciate what we do as a farm family. She is proactive and inspiring, and I am really proud of her. While my mom can sometimes be over the top, without her showing me how to talk to people about agriculture, it would have never been possible for me. She is really setting my brother and I up at a young age to be true leaders and true members of society, to really get something done for the world.

You don’t really hear about a whole lot of women going out and doing something huge like CommonGround. You never really see a woman speak for agriculture the way she does. And, if you do, people just think, “Oh, yeah, that’s a farm wife working under her husband.” No, this is my mom, Dawn Caldwell, 100 percent. There is no one telling her what to do. She is doing what she thinks is right, and she is making a huge difference – not just with our family, but also with agriculture. Thanks to her, there are a lot more people becoming knowledgeable about what is on their plate and how it got there.

If I had to choose just five words to best describe my mom, I would say: The very best mom ever!

Happy Mother’s Day! You are my biggest role model, and I love you!

– Kaydee Caldwell, 16

Kaydee Caldwell is the daughter of CommonGround Nebraska volunteer, Dawn Caldwell.  You can learn more about Dawn and her family’s farm by following her blog at or on Twitter – @ladyofag

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