Elaine Walker is a farmer. A strong, resilient woman, she carries more than a handful of responsibilities.
Walker has raised bottle calves for the Echelmeier family farm, Echo-L Dairy Farm, since 2000. Before that, Walker raised pigs and worked for the Dairy Association and on her parents’ farm. Aside from raising Holstein calves, Walker also raises chickens and sells the eggs along with farm-fresh milk. All of this is a part of her plan to create a sustainable farm — one that can support itself and its occupants.
Another aspect of Walker’s life is Annie’s Project, a program sponsored by University Extension to empower farm women to become better business partners though networks and by managing critical information.
Walker participated in an Annie’s Project class held in Fulton.
“The biggest thing about Annie’s Project,” she said, “is to make sure women are talking to each other (so you know) that you’re not the only person out there and you’re not the only person going through something like this.”
Walker is a mother of two who remarried in 2002. She took on additional responsibilities last year when her mother suffered two consecutive strokes. Now, at 2 p.m. every Tuesday, Thursday and most weekend days, Walker prepares her horse, Ace, for a ride to her parents’ home just two miles down the road in Hatton.
Once there, she prepares dinner and then with her parents until 9 p.m., when she hitches Ace back up for the ride home.
Once home, Walker collects eggs from the chicken coop, milk the cows again and then, finally, her day is complete.