A growing number of women are starting their own businesses. And they’re bringing their knowledge base to the boardroom. Not to mention working on self-improvement, balancing career with motherhood, and rocking it in the single world too. So many women with so many great identities and successes! And here’s a specific industry that is seeing an increasing number of women rising to the top: ag. Women in agriculture is the topic today.
Females Rising to Meet Demand in Ag
The typical farmer of the past is soon to be extinct. That’s because as established farmers get older, they often don’t have someone ready to take over their farms and its practices, as per the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). In turn, many farms are closing as there aren’t replacements ready for these aging farmers.
Thankfully, many young women are entering the agricultural industry, and that’s a very exciting thing. They include college grads who studied in areas such as finance and science that traditionally wouldn’t associate with ag. But it’s a good thing as these women in agriculture bring vast knowledge to the table that can help develop the industry in new ways.
And it’s such a beautiful thing, this rising number of female farmers, that Audra Mulkern decided to photograph them. She began the Female Farmer Project to capture the ladies at work; she would follow them around the farms to get natural shots rather than posed ones. The photographs has received a lot of attention, with past displays at the United Nations Headquarters in New York and also the art space Maison Rouge, which is in Paris.
More Resources for Women in Agriculture Too
What’s great to see is that the programs and initiatives for women in agriculture is growing with the demand. For example, five years ago was the start of the Advancing Women in Agriculture Conference (AWC) in Calgary, Alberta.
Since then, AWC has expanded to other parts of Canada. It brings together women from Canada and the US who share a love for ag and food. Conference speakers include industry leaders and motivators who are sharing their knowledge of finances, goal setting, and more. It’s resources like this one that are imperative to continuing to see more women in ag, in addition to their taking on more leadership roles within the organization.
Lastly, with the Internet, resources online are also readily available to female farmers. They’re able to connect at networking events online, for example, if they’re not close to ones like the AWC in-person. And it’s connecting at networking events that help women in agriculture feel less isolated, which they might otherwise feel if they’re living on remote farms.
Plus, forming relationships with other women at those events provides a way to share experiences, learn from one another, help others, and give back to the community. It’s only by supporting one another that the agricultural industry can continue to advance so this is all imperative.
Inspiring Women in Agriculture
On Twitter recently I came across CropLife’s International Women’s Day (IWD) campaign, and I want to share a bit about their female #FoodHeroes. No, I’m not receiving any money for writing this; I genuinely believe it’s motivating to share female successes to motivate other women. That’s why I created When Women Inspire to start with! It’s nice to see women getting recognition for their accomplishments.
For IWD, CropLife showcased 20 #FoodHeroes; they are inspiring women in agriculture and plant science. The women are examples of today’s female leaders in agriculture, whether they are on the farms themselves, combating malnutrition, or helping farmers get the food to kitchen tables.
Wow, talk about terrific female role models! For example, Karen Williams is a New Zealand farmer and mother who is very active in the community. She’s not only a Chairperson for the Arable Industry Group but also stands on the Board of Federated Farmers New Zealand.
And then there’s Jean Lonie, who encourages and supports those who are in the agricultural field as they travel, research, and, essentially, lead the ag industry forward. Her official title is relationship manager for Nuffield International Farming Scholars.
Those are only 2 of the 20 CropLife #FoodHeroes, inspiring women working in sustainable agriculture and plant science to fight malnutrition and to help farmers put food on our tables. They highlight the role of women in agriculture, why this is important, and the impact that they can achieve.
And those are only 2 of the 20 inspiring women in agriculture that CropLife highlights as #FoodHeroes. I encourage you to read all of their profiles! Also, that’s only 20 of numerous women who are rocking the ag industry. Talk about empowering!
Great Changes: Way to Go, Women in Agriculture
I love seeing women’s roles as changing from farmwife to farmer. There’s less and less of expecting men to be the farmers. That’s a gender stereotype to change, and good on Karen Williams and the other #FoodHeroes for leading the way toward a new view of ag. March is Women’s History Month and it’s women like these who are making history!