Women Can Man The Farm TooSeptember 20, 2011 No Comments
When you picture what a farmer looks like, I wouldn’t be surprised if you think of a burly man with steel toe boots and coveralls riding around on some sort of heavy-duty machinery.
But all that is changing, so it’s time to toss aside the stereotypes and forget the “norm.” In Michigan, more women are owning and operating farms, proving that women can man the farm just as well as men can. “The number of Michigan farm acres where women are the primary operators has more than doubled in 30 years, fueled in part by new opportunities in small-scale farming,” say officials.
There are also great increases in the number of female farm managers. Although the changes are in part attributed to “new opportunities in small scale farming,” according to Jay Johnson, director of the Michigan field office of the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, the shift may also reflect that more doors are opening for women in the agricultural field.
Whatever the reason, it’s clear that women aren’t only toiling in the kitchen, raising children and living contently as farmers’ wives. Despite the fact that men “still own and operate the vast majority of large farms with commodity crops,” women want to lead, manage and take advantage of business opportunities when they see them.
Let’s hope women keep infiltrating these traditionally male-dominated fields beyond the state of Michigan because they are ready, willing and capable.
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