When you think about farming you might think this is a male-dominated industry, which it is, but the ratio is changing. According to the USDA Census of Agriculture, in 2012 about 75 percent of farm operators in Iowa were male and 25 percent female, and in 2017 male ownership dropped to 66 percent while women rose to hold 34 percent of all operating positions in farms across the nation. As women start to own and operate more and more farms, there are many ways to become an advocate and leader within the industry.
Becoming a Leader
Women in leadership is a necessity to continue to drive equality changes and to have equal representation. The Department of Agriculture has opportunities for their County Committees to elect individuals to represent your area. The USDA also has many Advisory Committees and encourages women, minorities, and disabled persons to become involved in these committees to oversee everything from food safety to research to trade. If you are interested in research then serving on one of the 22 Research and Promotion programs run by the USDA might be right for you.
There are multiple government programs available to women that can help them receive funding, education, and provide statistical information. The time is now for women to continue to lead in the agricultural industry and to be role models for the next generations.
Do you know an inspiring woman in farming? Share her story with us! If you are wanting to learn about some other inspiring women in the industry, check out these 25 influential women!