Women are the pillar of the rural economy, especially in developing countries. They represent almost half of the world’s farmers. In recent decades these women in farming have expanded their participation in agriculture.

As the primary caretakers of their families and communities, women are also responsible for providing food and nutrition, and they are the link that connects farms and household dining rooms. Some of these women even refer to themselves as “farmhers.

Did You Know…

  • There are 14 women who serve as U.S. commissioners of agriculture.
  • The first female commissioner was appointed in 1986.
  • Women in farming have a 12.9-billion-dollar economic impact.
  • On average, women comprise 43% of the agricultural labor force around the world, but the United States accounts for only 31% of that.
  • Native American women were allowed to own land before the colonists.
  • Women have had equal inheritance rights only since 1982.
  • Women in farming are responsible for two-thirds of the earth’s 600 million livestock keepers.
  • Women tend to work longer hours than men, putting their time in domestic work, and the outside agricultural business.
  • Women in farming take care of 301,386,860 acres.

Women in Farming: Top Agricultural Commodities


The data is in, and these farmers aren’t just standing by their man; they have taken the reins!

Many women operate farms that primarily grow a combination of different row crops. Running slightly behind those women are the ones who operate beef cattle ranches, or a combination of other animals and livestock.


Empowering Women


The USDA has taken an aggressive role in expanding their interests to a critical part of ranch and farm operations: women in farming.

The USDA has developed many leadership opportunities and new roles that exist solely for women who run the farm and ag business.

The Farm Service Agency (FSA) county committees are a critical factor in the day-to-day operations of the FSA. They distribute farm plans and work opportunities at the local level to help local producers.

Research and Promotion programs offered by the USDA is an integral part of agriculture, encouraging women to apply to national boards that oversee a variety of commodities such as eggs, soybeans, lumber, and lamb.

Women in farming can also participate in USDA Advisory Committees, to help shape policies and programs that help in many issues, from emerging markets to animal health.

The USDA has formed a Women in Agricultural Mentoring Network as a way to connect, share experiences, share stories, advice, and more to fellow women in farming. These leadership groups help guide youth organizations and participate in cutting edge research across the country.

Along with the ag mentoring network, these groups can all be found online, on social media, or via the USDA blog.

Are you a woman who farms? Is agriculture your great passion? We’d love to hear your story. For assistance in your insurance needs, consider Wathen Insurance. Give us a call at 765-676-9666,or take a look at the services we offer.

  Women in farming is not a new thing, but growing steadily.