- From historic homesteaders to contemporary cattle ranchers, women have been the cornerstone of America’s agriculture heritage.
- The 2012 Census of Agriculture notes that nearly 1 million women are working America’s lands. That’s nearly a third of our nation’s farmers. These women are generating $12.9 billion in annual agricultural sales.
But farm work isn’t the only way women are contributing to agriculture. Women are 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 increasingly involved in every aspect of agriculture.
- In celebration of Women’s History Month this year, we are taking a moment to talk with prominent women in agriculture about their lives, their ideas about leadership, and how their day gets off to a good start.
- Anne Alonzo, Administrator of USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service, kicked off the month on the USDA Blog. Although Anne grew up as a city kid, her experiences have given her a deep appreciation for agriculture.
- Minnie Lou Bradley, now a sprightly 83, always had a passion for agriculture. Growing up in southwestern Oklahoma, Minnie was the first woman to major in animal husbandry from Oklahoma State University in Stillwater in 1949. In 1955, Minnie Lou Bradley moved to the Texas Panhandle to found Bradley 3 Ranch with her husband Billy. Here's her story:
- Tell us who your women in ag hero is using hashtag #womeninag. We'll feature them here!
- In October 2014, Deputy Secretary Harden invited a small group of leaders from almost all corners of the ag sector to join her at the White House and discuss the future of women in agriculture. Co-hosted by the White House Rural Council, and co-organized by AGree (a collaborative initiative of nine of the world’s leading foundations to tackle long-term food and agriculture issues), this meeting was an opportunity to discuss the impact women have had in American agriculture and the vision we have for the next generation of agricultural leaders.
- In preparation for the meeting, we asked the participants to use #womeninag to identify inspiring women in agriculture.
- The overwhelming response on Twitter stimulated our discussion and motivated the group to identify what we can do to continue supporting women in agriculture.