Gender Issues

Woman in field with basket of vegetables

The 2012 Census of Agriculture shows that women "control 7 percent of U.S. farmland, account for 3 percent of sales." "Nationally women were 30 percent of farmers," and 969,672 U.S. women farmers operated 62.7 million acres of farmland.

Characteristics of Women Farm Operators and Their Farms

USDA. Economic Research Service.

Using Census of Agriculture data, ERS reports on the growth in the number of women-operated farms from 1978 through 2007, an increase in all sales classes, the focus on small farms, and crops and livestock produced. When both principal and secondary operators are counted, there are almost one million women farmers in the U.S.


U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Read posts about women farmers and other women in agriculture on the USDA Blog.

U.S. Statistics on Women and Minorities on Farms and in Rural Areas

USDA. NAL. Alternative Farming Systems Information Center.

Links to USDA Census of Agriculture and Economic Research Service data, tables and reports.

Women in Agricultural Libraries

USDA. NAL. Special Collections.

Images of agricultural librarians from the USDA History Collection in the National Agricultural Library's Special Collections. [Scroll down page to view.]

Watercolor by Deborah Griscom Passmore Deborah Griscom Passmore Watercolors

USDA. NAL. Special Collections.

Guide to a collection of watercolors by and materials about Deborah Griscom Passmore, a USDA botanical artist.

Books about Women in Agriculture

USDA. National Agricultural Library.

Search for books on Women in Agriculture in the National Agricultural Library's collection. Use WorldCat to find those titles in a library closest to you:

Women Farmers. 2012 Census of Agriculture

USDA. National Agricultural Statistics Service.

In 2012, there were 969,672 women farmers in the United States, and "14 percent of the nation's 2.1 million farms had a female principal operator in 2012."

Profiles. Census of Agriculture

USDA. National Agricultural Statistics Service.

The 2012 USDA Census of Agriculture data analyzes specific characteristics of farms operated by women in Race, Ethnicity and Gender Profiles (by state).

FSA Women Outreach Program

USDA. Farm Service Agency.

Learn how the Farm Service Agency is collaborating with other government agencies and agricultural organizations to "improve the lives of women farmers and ranchers."

Women in Agriculture National Learning Network


Offers resources to help women farmers, ranchers and producers "make better business decisions while maintaining a balance with family and personal obligations." Features include an Ask an Expert service, a Women in Ag Blog, webinars, news feed, publications, and links to guides and tools for women in agriculture.

Women in Rural America

USDA. NAL. Rural Information Center.

Find information about women who live and work in rural areas. Resources are available for farmers, ranchers, agribusiness, educators, health care and more.

Minority and Women Farmers and Ranchers funding

USDA. Farm Service Agency.

The Farm Service Agency targets a portion of its loan funds to "Socially Disadvantaged Applicants" which include minorities and women farmers and ranchers.

Rural Women's Project

Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES)

The Rural Women's Project "supports women farmers and food-based ecopreneurs, providing resources, networking and collaborative opportunities to champion new business start-ups that support food system change."

Woman with two piglets. Women in Agriculture

State and regional Women in Agriculture program locations include: Alabama, Arkansas, Blue Ridge, Central Maryland, Delaware, Hawaii, Kentucky, Idaho, Iowa, Midwest, Nebraska, and Wyoming.

Women's Leadership Committee

American Farm Bureau

The Committee "helps women build on their strengths as agricultural professionals and leaders who are effective at speaking up and speaking out about agricultural and legislative issues." Many state Farm Bureau programs also have women's committees or women's leadership programs.

American Agri-Women

American Agri-Women.

American Agri-Women is a coalition of farm, ranch and agribusiness women with organizations throughout the United States. Find a state affiliate.

Women's Agricultural Network (WaGN)

WaGN "provides education and technical assistance to individuals starting or enhancing farms and ag-related businesses." State WaGN offices are located in Connecticut, Maine, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Vermont.

Women, Food and Agriculture Network

WFAN is a community of women that shares information and resources in support of sustainable agriculture and healthy localized food systems.

Women's Farm and Forestry Alliance

WFFA is both an educational program and a leadership program for women farm, ranch and forestland owners and operators.

Annie's Project

Annie's National Network Initiative for Educational Success

Annie's Project "is an educational program dedicated to strengthening women's roles in the modern farm enterprise."

National Ag Risk Education Library

University of Minnesota. Digital Center for Risk Management Education.

"Organizes thousands of risk management materials which help producers and agricultural professionals quickly locate information, tools, and assistance on specific risk management topics." Includes biennial National Women in Agriculture Educators Conference presentations for 2006 - 2012.