More women farmers cropping up in the United States

CCTV News

women farmer 2

In a change from a traditionally-male profession, more women farmers are emerging throughout the U.S.

The numbers are still small, but women are already making a difference in the U.S. food system.

CCTV America’s Roza Kazan reports.
Follow Roza Kazan on Twitter @rozakazancctv

More women farmers cropping up in the United States

More women farmers cropping up in the United States

In a change from a traditionally-male profession, more women farmers are emerging throughout the U.S The numbers are still small, but women are already making a difference in the U.S. food system. CCTV America's Roza Kazan reports.

When it comes to ruling the roost on the farm, it’s still a male-dominated world. But women-farmers now make up the fastest growing group in agriculture.

Beth Wright studied psychology and had no ties to farming growing up. But now she’s renting half a hectare of land to grow organic vegetables. And starting small was crucial.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, in 2012, women ran about 14 percent of all farms in the United States, up from just five percent in 1978, a tripling over the past three decades.

women farmer

20 years ago, Lisa Kivirist left her corporate job in Chicago and moved to Wisconsin, to run a farm and a bed and breakfast. She says female-run farms tend to be smaller, organic and more diversified- a reflection of the general trend for healthier food.

Kivirist has written several self-help books and runs workshops to help women farmers learn everything from pig-raising to prairie restoration to financing and marketing.

The spirit of collaboration is what’s helped Lindsey Carpenter, too. She started her own organic vegetable and livestock farm in 2007 – with the help of a government loan. Going solo is hard, she said, but well worth it.

Kivirist believes the next step is to have more women at the agricultural leadership table.


Julie Borlaug on the changing landscape of the agriculture industry

For more on the changing landscape of the agriculture industry, CCTV America’s Michelle Makori spoke to Julie Borlaug, associate director for External Relations at the Norman E. Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture and a professor at Texas A&M University.