Agricultural Policy: A Women’s Issue

Policy Overview
Women have played a significant role in farming and agriculture in the United States for hundreds of years. Much of their experience has been acquired while serving in support roles on male-managed farms. However, recent data provided by the USDA Census of Agriculture shows increased female representation among farm operations managers. As of 2017, 37% of all farm operations were managed by women with women producers contributing to more than half of all farm operations nationwide. Furthermore, women farmers earn more money than their male counterparts.

Gaps in Research and Policy
Additional resources should be allocated for conducting research studies on women farm operation managers and producers.


Opportunities for Impact
There are approximately 960,000 female farmers in the United States.

Threats to Progress
Gender discrimination against female farmers continues to be a barrier to the progress of women workers in the agriculture industry.

There is more female representation in agriculture today than ever before.
More women are entering the industry and working as producers and farm operations managers.

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