Women across the United States are making waves within the agricultural community. Nearly 66% of farmers are over the age of 55. With an aging farming population, there are gaps that need to be filled, and women are stepping up for the job.
The 2017 National Young Farmers Coalition Survey determined that 60% of farmers under 40 are women. This means that women will one day be the majority of farmers in this country. As women flood the industry, so do minority groups. Native American and Asian women account for a large number of female farmers.
The most recent U.S. Census data shows that Arizona, New England, Oregon, and Washington have some of the highest concentrations of female farmers in the nation. According to the USDA, 45% of Arizona farmers are women. Almost 15,000 Arizona women farm on over 4 million acres of land. Their agricultural contributions make a $119.6 million economic impact.
The majority of women-run farmers are small farms. Most of these farms specialize in a combination of crops, beef cattle, and a combination of animals. Many women do not operate large farms, but this may be because many female farmers have other jobs as well.
The world is constantly shifting, and so are women. Women have always played an important role in agriculture, but this influx is sure make even more changes to the industry. The future is female, and it will be exciting to see where women take us.
Responses for the 2017 U.S. Census of Agriculture were collected earlier this month. Keep an eye out here to see how women continue to make an impact on farming.
Check out the video below for insights from one of our very own female farmers in Arizona, Sarah Hyde from Hassayampa Vineyard and Farm: