Number of Women Farm Operators Triple Over Past 30 Years

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The number of women operating farms has nearly tripled over the past three decades, growing from 5 percent in 1978 to 14 percent in 2007, according to a report by the USDA Economic Research Service. By using data from the Census of Agriculture and the Agricultural Resource Management Survey, researchers showed that there were 306,200 women-operated farms in 2007 compared to 121,600 in 1982. In contrast, the number of male-operated farms during that time dropped by 220,800. Most female-operated farms are small and have sales of under $10,000, with 21 percent of those farms specializing in poultry, specialty crops, grains and dairy.

(Posted in the USDA Fence Post by Tanya Brown)

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