Hilary Otey Wold, Executive Director at Minnesota Food Association

Who are Women in Ag?

From historic homesteaders to contemporary cattle ranchers, women have been a cornerstone of America’s agriculture heritage.

Women in ag: Farms contribute to many other aspects of our lives as well. A roadside market operated by a local farmwoman in Hampshire County, Massachusetts in September 1940.

The 2012 Census of Agriculture notes that nearly 1 million women are working America’s lands. That is nearly a third of our nation’s farmers. These women are generating $12.9 billion in annual agricultural sales.  Women are also scientists, economists, foresters, veterinarians, and conservationists. Women are in the boardrooms and the corner offices of international enterprises, and are the owners and operators of small businesses. Women are property owners and managers. Women are policymakers and standard bearers. Women are involved in every aspect of agriculture.

We at USDA are committed to supporting diversity and inclusion in the agriculture—and that includes building opportunities for women to grow, learn from one another, and lead within their industries.

To build on what we have heard from women in agriculture across the country, USDA has taken a leading role in updating the 2017 Census to better reflect the contributions of women and the next generation to agriculture.