Report Finds Inequities Persist for Women Farmers

New research published by American Farmland Trust in a report, The State of Gender Equity in U.S. Agriculture, found that key disparities persist in access to financial and technical resources and key information networks for women in agriculture, especially among Black, Indigenous, Latina, Asian, and Queer women. The report says internal and institutionalized sexism are core barriers that contribute to disparate outcomes for women-led farms. The report details the ways these barriers impact women in agriculture, the secondary issues that arise, and the implications for food production, farm viability, climate resilience, and farmland protection. It found that women-led farms are making substantially less money, have unique challenges in accessing secure land tenure, and receive less government support through financial and technical assistance. The report authors used a literature review, semi-structured in-depth interviews, and analysis of data from the United States Department of Agriculture to conduct the analysis. It includes recommendations such as more women in farming leadership roles; training in cultural competency and gender-appropriate services for agricultural support staff; increased investment in rural community infrastructure including childcare; and improvements to programs tailored for small and mid-sized farms, among others.