More and more farmers these days are women.
It isn’t Old MacDonald’s farm anymore. The people behind your market tomatoes and steakhouse dinners are as diverse as the seeds they sow and the animals they raise. And though farming is an industry still dominated by men, women are a growing force shaping the way you eat. The USDA’s most recent Census of Agriculture, in 2017, found that women made up 36 percent of the country’s 3.4 million producers—an all-time high—and more than half of all farms had at least one female producer. Other takeaways: These women tend to be slightly younger and more likely beginning farmers. In other words, the future of farming is female. “Historically the idea has been that the man’s farming and the woman’s canning, right? Which is embarrassing. But I do see that changing,” says Deb Dramby, a goat farmer and communications manager for the local sustainable-farming organization Future Harvest. ”There is a real movement there, and it’s empowering.”