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Honoring Female Farmers and Ranchers this Women’s History Month

Posted by Alexandra Nseir, USDA NASS Public Affairs Specialist in Equity Research and Science
Mar 15, 2023
Woman standing in front of rows of crops on a small farm

Female farmers and ranchers in the United States play an integral role in providing agricultural products to our nation and the world. During Women’s History Month, we celebrate the 1.2 million female producers around the country.

According to the 2017 Census of Agriculture, women accounted for 36% of the country’s 3.4 million producers. More than half of all farms, 56%, had a female producer, while 9% of farms were run entirely by women. These female-operated farms accounted for 38% of U.S. agriculture sales and 43% of U.S. farmland.

Compared to male producers, women in ag are slightly younger, are more likely to live on the farm they operate, and are more likely to be a beginning producer. In fact, 41% of beginning producers are women. Data points like these from the ag census allow farmers and ranchers to tell the story of American agriculture. The data inform decision makers who shape farm policies and programs, community planners and agribusinesses that target needed services to producers, and more.

Data from the 2022 Census of Agriculture, which will be released in early 2024, will give us an updated picture of women in the industry, providing critical information to all those who serve farmers and ranchers. The more responses to the Census of Agriculture, the more robust the data. There’s still time to respond to the ag census and female producers can ensure they are represented by responding today. The Census of Agriculture is your voice, your future, and your opportunity.

Category/Topic: Equity Research and Science