Women: Meet the New Faces of American Farming

Hey, ladies! Did you know that women are the fastest growing segment of the American farming landscape? It’s true! And honestly, to me at least, this isn’t too surprising. But then again, I’m an organic blogger and sustainable farming journalist, so this kind of information fits nicely into my knowledge wheelhouse.

Anyhow, other, more important people than me, and some pretty impressive organizations and institutions, are noting this, too. According to the Grist article, “Women take back the farm, Grist takes to the Airwaves,” the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service found that the number of women-operated farms had more than doubled between 1982 and 2007. The report came out in June 2013. And according to another Grist article, “Breaking the grass ceiling: on U.S. farms, women are taking the reins,” Lori Rotenberk said that modern women (women today rather than those who took to farming during WWII) view farming as a passion and see it as a mission. Many women want to build community, improve their lives and want to produce healthy food for the public. And women are taking to various types of farming situations – large and small, urban and rural.

Grist goes on to explain that many of the women are quite young and are inspired to farm after graduating from environmental science and agricultural programs. Other women who are part of the movement are older and more experienced (many of these women have previously held office jobs). And another group of women involved in the movement is the elderly. These tough ladies have outlived their husbands and have taken over the farm their husbands once cared for.

The following are just a few of the great takeaways from this growing movement:

  • Women farmers are very content with their lifestyle
  • Every woman farmer is unique. They all have incredibly interesting yet very different backgrounds.
  • Many female-run farms are diverse and organic. These women tend to be involved with the local foods movement.

To read more about how the American farming landscape is changing, take a gander at the following Organic Authority articles:

“So God Made a Farmer, But What Does That Really Mean for the Rest of Us?”

“Interview with Food Revolutionary: Maria Rodale”

Image: nosha