GFM Network News


The proportion of female farmers edged up only to 28.7 per cent in 2016 from 27.4 per cent in 2011. This continues the slow long-term trend since 1991 when they accounted for 25.7 per cent of farm operators.

Where are the farm women?

The research is incontrovertible. Diversity creates strength. So why aren’t we making greater strides at getting farm women involved?

Reading Time: 4 minutes I’m one of a dozen women sitting around a long boardroom table. The surroundings are completely unfamiliar and slightly intimidating. We politely watch a video and quietly chat with one another about our farms, succession, our families and, of course, the weather. The woman across from me taps tentatively on the little microphone that seems […] Read more

Ten things farm moms really want

It would be fun for you to be a fly on the wall of my office when the calls from farm moms come in. They range in age from 33 to 93. Regardless of your age or stage as a farm mom, I bet there are things that you would like to be able to[...]
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The role ahead for women in agriculture

Unless farm women get more power and a bigger share of the farm voice, Krysta Harden believes agriculture will fail its greatest tests, feeding the globe and reconnecting with consumers. Summer, she says, is a time for change

Reading Time: 5 minutes It begins with a little girl, her face splattered with freckles, ambling up a dirt lane on a Georgia farm where her ancestors first broke ground. On either side, rows and rows of peanuts defiantly poked through the sand to thrive under the southern sun. Inside the clapboard farmhouse at the end of the lane,[...]
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A better workplace for women

In today’s tight labour markets, a workplace that attracts women employees may give your farm the edge you’re looking for

Reading Time: 4 minutes With the farm labour shortage expected to go from bad to worse all across Canada, farms that can attract untapped communities of job seekers may have a big advantage. Which means women. Women are Canada’s largest under-utilized pool of potential farm employees. The numbers prove it. Women make up only 36 per cent of the[...]
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USDA deputy secretary Krysta Harden talks to girls in a food and agriculture class at Peekskill Middle School in Peekskill, N.Y. Harden visited the school’s garden where students proudly showed off their crops in the school’s High Tunnel. Peekskill Middle School installed a High Tunnel in the school’s garden thanks to the High Tunnels in Schools Grant. Girls are not only good at food technology, Harden says, they can also have an edge because of their sharp entrepreneurial skills and their drive to make a difference.

A million women farmers

To get big numbers of women farmers, the U.S. looks to small farms

Reading Time: 6 minutes According to the USDA’s Economic Research Service, the number of female-operated farms in the U.S. more than doubled between 1982 and 2012. On top of that, if you add in the number of women who participate on male-led or jointly led farms as primary and secondary operators, the U.S. now has nearly one million female[...]
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At conferences, speakers like Saskatchewan’s deputy minister of ag Alanna Koch chart a path for women’s progress.

Agriculture’s glass ceiling

If gender isn’t a big issue on the farm, why are so many women signing up for women’s organizations and conferences?

Reading Time: 5 minutes So maybe today’s farmers don’t absolutely need the muscles of a Schwarzenegger, especially on farms with employees. Still, that doesn’t mean the door is open to women farmers, or that our modern agricultural system is really as modern as we like to think. Women who want to farm do face challenges not experienced by their[...]
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