“Farming and ranching is not a gender specific occupation, yet when we imagine a farmer or rancher it is often a man that one sees. Our culture shapes our reality and women are shaping the natural landscape and the minds of the next generation.” - Cynthia Vagnetti


- Michigan
- United States
- Worldwide

Who Are Women in Agriculture?


Who are the Michigan women involved in agriculture? Here you will find information on several of Michigan's women farmers and academics from Michigan State University (MSU) who work with women farmers. Also included are links to Michigan farming organizations, MSU Extension, and an overview of agriculture in Michigan.

United States

The Economic Research Service and the USDA published the 2001 Family Farm Report, which examines the structural and financial characteristics of US farms. The report states that:

"Women operate a growing share of farms, rising from 5% of farmers in 1978 to 9% in 1997. While women manage all types and sizes of farms, they most commonly manage small farms, measured by acres or sales, and specialize in livestock. Fewer women report farming as their primary occupation than their male counterparts. The average income of female-operator households was lower than that of male-operator households, with the difference resulting more from low farm earnings than from low off-farm income. But, recent data show that the average income of female-operator households was higher than that of all US female-headed households or females living alone" (Sommer 2001, p. 38).

In an effort to increase awareness of the experiences of women in agriculture in the United States, this section includes articles, various online resources, and more.


Women's role in agriculture varies throughout the world. Included in this section is information about women and agriculture in Canada, Rwanda, South Asia, and other areas. Also included are links to various agricultural development projects for women.


Sommer, Judith E. 2001. "Female Farm Operators and Their Farms." In Structural and Financial Characteristics of US Farms: 2001 Family Farm Report, edited by Robert A. Hoppe. Resource Economics Division, Economic Research Service, US Department of Agriculture. Agriculture Information Bulletin No. 768.

Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems at MSU