Growing trends and statistics show more women transitioning into farming careers in a purposeful fusion of passion, business, health, and community.
For many years, women played “invisible” roles in agriculture while men took center stage. However, growing trends and statistics show more women transitioning into farming careers in a purposeful fusion of passion, business, health, and community.
As evidence, 44 percent of the Future Farmers of America Organization are women, up from 20 percent in 1988. Michigan State University’s organic farming certification program has women as two-thirds of its students. And Iowa State University researchers predict women may even own the majority of U.S. farmland by 2027.
Trends such as the demand for farmers markets and locally grown, grass-fed, pastured, gluten-free, and organic foods in more stores, restaurants, and homes have all contributed to women operating their own farming businesses at all stages of life.
Many specialize in small-scale farming going straight from the country farm or urban garden to the consumer. The Michigan Food and Farming Systems’ director says these women are “looking to change what they're not happy with — whether it's the food they're feeding their kids or what their schools buy.”
As one woman put it, farming “was not on my list of things I wanted to do when I grew up. But I actually found my passion.”