Ree Drummond Explains What It Means to Be a Pioneer Woman

Ree Drummond has been known as The Pioneer Woman for many years. Here’s what the Food Network star says it really means to be a pioneer woman.

How did Ree Drummond become known as The Pioneer Woman?

Savannah Guthrie and The Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond | Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images
Savannah Guthrie and The Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond | Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Drummond got the nickname “The Pioneer Woman” from her friends. They were shocked when she announced she was going to marry cattle rancher Ladd Drummond and relocate to his Pawhuska, Oklahoma ranch. “I was literally the last person anyone ever pictured moving to the country,” she says on The Pioneer Woman website. “When I announced my engagement to a cowboy, my childhood friends couldn’t believe it.” Her friends began calling her The Pioneer Woman as a joke.   

A neighbor called Drummond a pioneer woman a few years later. This happened after Drummond completed the arduous task of bringing water into the house during a time when she didn’t have running water for four months.

“I hauled in water, boiled it on the stove so I could wash dishes, and did what I had to do to get by,” says Drummond on her website. “A neighboring ranching friend, upon hearing of my plight, called and told me I was a real pioneer woman—only this time it wasn’t a joke! If I hadn’t been so busy hauling water at the time, I might have stopped to revel in the title a little more.”

How Ladd Drummond got the nickname Marlboro Man

Drummond isn’t the only one with a nickname. Her husband, Ladd, is also known by another name. The “accidental country girl” lovingly refers to her husband as Marlboro Man. In the winter 2018 issue of The Pioneer Woman magazine, Drummond says one reason for the nickname was so she could keep her husband’s identity private when she first started her blog. She also had one other funny reason:

Years ago, when my best friend Hyacinth had her third child, I threw a baby shower for her and invited a bunch of people who had never been to my house. Ladd was on the porch and as guests were arriving, I heard one of them, Carla Brown, say, “My gosh, who is that Marlboro Man sitting on the porch?” When I started my blog back in 2006, I thought you should never reveal your real name on the Internet, so I just referred to Ladd as Marlboro Man!

Ree Drummond explains what it means to be a pioneer woman

Ree Drummond | Monica Schipper/Getty Images for The Pioneer Woman Magazine
Ree Drummond | Monica Schipper/Getty Images for The Pioneer Woman Magazine

Drummond says being a pioneer woman is not only about a lifestyle but also a way of thinking. “Anyone can be a pioneer woman,” Drummond tells her website readers. “It’s a state of mind, a belief system, a way of life. We gals can pursue a career, raise a family, follow our passions, and smile while we’re doing it! We can adapt and change directions if that’s where life takes us. And we can positively impact the world around us, in both large and tiny ways.”

Read more: The Sweet Reason ‘The Pioneer Woman’ Ree Drummond’s Husband Loves Working on the Ranch