From the earliest days of American agriculture, women have been a cornerstone of everyday farm life. But as culture and agriculture change, women are more engaged than ever in the core business — as farm operators and strategic decision makers.
“Over the past three decades, the number of women-operated farms increased substantially,” says a report issued four years ago by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, using the most recent census data available.
“In 2007, women operated 14 percent of all U.S. farms, up from 5 percent in 1978,” the report continued. “Women-operated farms increased in all sales classes, including farms with annual sales of $1 million or more.”
That’s not just a national trend. More women have been emerging as movers and shakers in Lee County agriculture as well.
“There’s no doubt that more local women are taking important leadership roles — whether they’re running their family farms, helping shape public policy or leading statewide organizations,” says County Extension Director Bill Stone. “In many ways, women are reshaping the landscape of agriculture and agribusiness.”
Stone points to leaders like Mandy Thomas Johnson, who is helping Gary Thomas Farms, her family operation, make a successful transition to larger-scale production.
– See more at: https://www.morningagclips.com/reshaping-the-landscape/