Women in Agriculture

Woman with plow and horses (Copyright IStock).Women fill many roles in agriculture. They are farmers and farm workers, ranchers, agricultural researchers, and educators.  And, they contribute to local food systems, direct farm marketing, farm busines planning/management, and more.  Women represented 38% of "about 300,000 persons...involved in making decisions for the farms that sold food directly in 2015." [Source: Direct Farm Sales of Food.]

USDA.

"Each month, USDA shares stories of women in agriculture who are leading the industry and helping other women succeed along the way."

U.S. Department of Agriculture.

This USDA series of factsheets detail "the impact women have on agriculture in each state and across the country." 

eXtension Foundation.

 A web portal "for education, technical assistance and support of women farmers, ranchers and producers." Maintained by the Women in Agriculture National Learning Network (WIA LN), a national initiative, the site includes "Women Making the News in Agriculture," a Women in Ag Blog, education and events notices, webinars, an email list, publications, links to related website, and more.

American Farm Bureau

The program "provides women with leadership training, communication skills, and networking to strengthen their ability to encourage positive change in their communities and in the agricultural industry." Many state Farm Bureau programs also have women's committees or women's leadership programs.

USDA. NAL. Special Collections.

Guide to a collection of watercolors by and materials about Deborah Griscom Passmore, a USDA botanical artist.

USDA. NAL. Special Collections.

Images of agricultural librarians from the USDA History Collection in the National Agricultural Library's Special Collections. [Scroll down page to view.]

USDA. National Agricultural Statistics Service.

In 2012, there were 969,672 women farmers in the United States, and "14 percent of the nation's 2.1 million farms had a female principal operator in 2012."

USDA. National Agricultural Statistics Service.

The 2012 USDA Census of Agriculture data analyzes specific characteristics of farms operated by women in Race, Ethnicity and Gender Profiles (by state).

U.S. Department of Agriculture. ERS. 

"Although the number of U.S. farms is dropping, the number of female farmers is rising. In 1978, about 128,000, or 5.2 percent of all U.S. farmers, were women. They tend to run smaller farms and earn less than their male counterparts. They are also older and more likely to be full owners of the land they farm." (Rural Development Research Report No.45)

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