Farm Women: A Growing Trend

Farm women are a growing part of the agricultural community.

Farming Women

More than 30 percent of the nation's 3.3 million farm operators are women.

iStockphoto.com/Susan H. Smith

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More than 30 percent of the nation’s 3.3 million farm operators are women, this from an article in the agriculture publication Top Producer. Women often inherit the farm, and more women are returning to the farm. The total number of women operating farms or ranches has increased 20 percent since 2002.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports more than 75 percent of women operators are full owners, and that number has increased almost 30 percent since 2002.

According to the 2007 Census of Agriculture, of the 2.2 million U.S. farms, women are principal owners of 14 percent of them. Arizona, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Maine and Alaska have the most women-owned farms, and while those farms tend to be smaller than operations run by men, 85 percent of the women own all of their farm acres.

The National Agricultural Statistics Service emphasized nontraditional operators during its 2007 census; the next census is to be conducted this year. To be counted, sign up at The USDA’s Online Response page or call toll free 800-892-1660.