Women in Agriculture

Topics: Agriculture, United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural economics Pages: 25 (8796 words) Published: November 26, 2010
Women in Agriculture 1

Women in Agriculture

Heather Heath
Dr. Alston
April 2010

Women in Agriculture 2
Table of Contents
Women Farmers3
One Woman in Agriculture6
Female Agricultural Educators7
Women as Agricultural Extension Agents11
Women in the Public Arena12
History of Women in the FFA15
Women Farmers in Florida16
Women in Agriculture in Arkansas17
Women in Agriculture in Minnesota20
Denise O’Brien22
The Power of Women in Agriculture in Foreign Countries 22 Women Farmers in Africa24
The Future27
Organizations for Women in Agriculture 29
History of Women in Agriculture30
Women in Agriculture 3
Women Farmers
Women in agriculture are a diverse, important and often overlooked component of agriculture. Over the past several years there has been a growing acknowledgement of the important roles women play in agriculture. However, the US is still dominated by white males who are traditionally in charge of decision-making and operation. As of 2002, about 2% of farms were operated by women, according to the National Agriculture Statistics Service (NASS). Many of the farms operated by women in the United States are small scale farms that earn less than $50,000 annually. (Female Farmer, 2002)

Many women are turning to sustainable and alternative farming because of the difficulties they are facing with traditional agriculture. Women who are Hispanic, African American, and Native American may be especially disadvantaged due to historical and structural racism in farm organizations and federal and state laws in the United States. Today only 1% of farms are operated by African Americans. (Female Farmer, 2002)

Many women farm on their own or as partners in the work of family farms. Women on farms perform household tasks, tend gardens, livestock, and assist in the fields as needed. Often women help support the farm operations or households through paid farm work for others, or through off-farm and nonfarm businesses or paid employment. (Female Farmer, 2002)

Women in Agriculture 4
Agricultural education was predominantly a male profession until recent years. With the number of female agriculture educators rising, the number of female students enrolling in agricultural education programs has risen. A challenge for women agricultural educators is balancing career and family. You have to have a good support system in place at home to travel to state and national FFA events. (Buehler, 2008)

A Department of Agriculture survey shows that the number of women-owned farms in the United States is growing close to a quarter million. These women have learned that they must be innovative in order to survive on the farm. Females make up nearly forty percent of the half-million members of the National FFA Organization. Many of these females hold key leadership positions in the FFA. (Women in Ag, 2008)

For more women to become involved in agriculture gender and social equity must be implemented in AKST (Agricultural Knowledge Science and Technology) policies and practices. Priority must be given to women’s access to education, information, science and technology, and extension services. This will improve women’s access, ownership and control of economic and natural resources. Other things that will help women succeed in agriculture are improving women’s working and living conditions in rural areas, giving priority to technological development policies targeting rural and farm women’s needs and recognizing their knowledge, skills and experience. (2007 Census, 2007)

The 2007 Census of Agriculture shows that the role of women is continuing to grow in U.S. agriculture. Women are running more farms and ranches, operating more land, and producing a greater value of agriculture products than they were five years ago. The 2007 Census Women in Agriculture 5

counted 3.3...
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Agriculture Essay
  • Agriculture Essay
  • agriculture Essay
  • Women Essay
  • Essay about Agriculture
  • Agriculture Essay
  • agriculture Essay
  • agriculture Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free