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women in agriculture mentoring network

Telling the Story of #womeninag Through Pictures and Numbers

A woman, proudly on horseback, rides through a cattle herd. Another woman in a cowboy hat and boots, surveys a pasture. A third hauls freshly picked produce from the field.

These are some images of women who are working America’s farms and ranches.  Women have always been an integral part of our Nation’s agricultural history.  The 2012 Agricultural Census counts nearly 1 million of us in the fields and on the land.  What else can numbers and images tell us about the role women are playing in agriculture? What else are we not counting or seeing?

A New Network for Women in Agriculture

To be a woman in agriculture is to face a unique set of challenges. And because I know all too well the trials that women can face as they look to take on leadership roles, I made it a goal as USDA’s Deputy Secretary to start a community for women leaders in agriculture.

This past fall, I held a White House discussion with farmers, agribusiness, academics and youth leaders about the opportunities that exist to help advance women in agriculture to leadership positions. Since that meeting, the response has been overwhelming. Women from all walks of life and every sector of the agriculture supply chain are empowering one another, and they're sharing beautiful photographs and touching stories about how they've done it.