Mother Nature- Women in Farming
Mother Nature-Women in Farming
American women in farming work to provide us with invaluable insight into agricultural developments and scientific research to propel us forward into new ways of providing food to the people of our world, like hydroponics. These hard-working farmers also provide us with livestock, produce and veterinary services. Unfortunately, these women often get overlooked in what is called “a mans industry.”
The USDA found 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.”
Seeing that nearly one-third of our nation's farmers are women should be a big wake up call that this industry isn't one that is just for men. It is a place for women, where women thrive, in countries from the Americas to Europe and in developing countries where women make up 43% of the agricultural labor force.
Female farmers differ from place to place. There are women in rural Asia working in rice fields, scientists delving into hydroponics in Florida, a farmer who brings her goods to the local farmers market in Des Moines, Iowa. These women are all connected by their hard-working spirit and connection to the land they work off of. Without women in agriculture, we wouldn't have the modern milking machine, developed by Anna Baldwin in 1878. There is even an argument made by Deborah Jaffe in a Guardian article that women invented agriculture as we know it today, “I firmly believe that women invented agriculture. If the men were all busy being he-man hunters, who had the time to pop some seeds in the ground and watch them grow? The woman left behind holding the baby. Studies of modern hunter-gatherer societies show that the hunters (the men) tend to bring in only 10% of the group's food, while the gatherers (the women) make up the remaining 90%. Who gets all the publicity? The big butch hunter.”
It is easy to see that women are a driving force in agriculture, today and in the past.