Austin woman finds growth in agriculture

Austin woman finds new growth in agriculture

Across the country, more and more women are dropping their corporate careers and picking up jobs in farming. It's something happening right here in Austin.

At the end of a residential street in South Austin sits a half-acre urban farm that's creating a big buzz.

La Flaca is managed by 33-year-old farmer Alejandra Rodriguez Boughton.

"People are enjoying having a farmer as a neighbor which I really appreciate," Rodriguez Boughton said.

Thursday afternoon KVUE caught up with her while she was busy feeding her chickens.

It's something she never thought she'd be doing just a few years ago when working a 9 to 5 corporate finance job. It wasn't until she got a promotion that she realized she didn't want her boss' job or her boss' boss' job.

She gave it all up to start a farm. She's not alone, across the country more women are deciding to plant roots in agriculture.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture now reports 30 percent of all U.S. farmers are women, that's up 21 percent since 2007.

Rodriguez Boughton says her only problem getting her business started was that she didn't have any growing experience.

She began reading how-to guides and attending community college classes to learn.

"That's the cool thing about living in the information age," Rodriguez Boughton said. "If you have the will, there's a way."

That mentality is what led her to create La Flaca, translated in English as "The Skinny Woman."

"Whenever I see that logo it's a reminder to just brush off the fears and keep moving forward," Rodriguez Boughton said.

She said there have been financial worries.

"Agriculture is a very tough business," Rodriguez Boughton said. "You need to make big capital investments up front and you won't see a payout until 18 months if you're super lucky, but more realistically two years. You need to be prepared for that."

However, she said since opening this farm about a year ago she's been able to grow 195 different types of vegetables, herbs and edible flowers.

She sells them to buyers for like Sam Eder to use in Austin area restaurants like Lenore, L'Oca D'Oro and Olamaie.

"Buying from local farms is what our restaurants depend on," Eder said.

So far, business is good.

"It's very, very rewarding," Rodriguez Boughton said.

Rodriguez Boughton believes the sky is the limit because that's what happens when you harvest your passion.

To learn more about La Flaca click here.

© 2017 KVUE-TV


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