In past decades, the farming world was generally run and ruled by men. A man in overalls and a straw hat was usually (and stereotypically) what came to mind when picturing a farmer, and just like in many other industries in the 70s and 80s, all the opportunity and resources in farming were given to men, as well. Women in the business seemed to earn only a supporting role. It would have been a pretty rare occurrence to see them doing much more than just lending a hand or simple chores.
In 2016, though, those days are no longer. In fact, these days, women are more commonly being seen as the face of agriculture and are really making their mark on the industry. The number of farms owned and operated by women has nearly tripled in recent years, and according to a recent(ish) Census of Agriculture, there were nearly 970,000 female farmers and farm operators in the U.S. in 2012. That was four years ago, folks. Imagine what that number is today!
Women are helping each other and working together to create change in the world and on the farm. We at Farm Star Living love hearing about this female empowerment and seeing the momentum behind women taking rise in the industry and their efforts being recognized. In honor of all the female farmers out there working hard to earn their place, here are some reasons why women are perfectly built for life on the farm:
Plenty of strength and determinationWomen are strong and resilient, and these days it’s becoming more common to see them doing the heavy lifting on the farm. Whether it’s literally lifting heavy things or running and operating the farm themselves, female farmers seem to be really holding their own and doing what it takes to take care of their land and get the job done. A willingness to commit to a project – another quality many women possess – inherently goes along with having the strength and determination to do so.
High levels of compassionStudies show that women innately feel and display high levels of emotion and compassion. This translates to farming with women naturally feeling sympathy and/or concern for animals and the environment, supporting better treatment of them, and also being conscientious about food safety and health.
A natural instinct to nurtureA woman’s natural instinct to nurture makes them perfect for the farming life. Nurturing is essential to growing crops, raising animals, and taking care of the land. This quality also plays off of the aforementioned trait in the sense that nurturing instincts often amplify women’s want to care for and about things, whether it be the environment, their crops or animals, or food quality and safety.
A healthy mix of persistence and graceGrace is defined as “simple elegance or refinement of movement,” while persistence is “firm continuance in a course of action despite difficulty or opposition.” These descriptions, while vastly different, both accurately describe and speak volumes about female farmers. Women can get down and dirty with the rest of them to knock out the work – despite any challenges or resistance they may face – but they also add a bit of class and sophistication into the mix.
More and more, women are continuing to break down the stereotypical barriers in farming and make an impact in the industry. We hope their efforts continue to be seen across the country and around the world, as women are very much invaluable in farming.
And to put a little icing on the girl power cake…
In 2011, a very catchy song titled, "Run the World" became a staple in popular music. In this song, Beyonce (who is basically the human form of female empowerment) asks, "Who runs the world?" The answer? “Girls!” Perhaps this should be the female farmers’ theme song?
Do you know an inspiring female farmer or farm operator? Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest and tell us about her (or them)!