Our farm right now is in winter mode until May 1 and it occurred to us a couple of days ago that our female-male ratio is tipped highly toward women right now. Counting our family, the whole staff is 9 women and 4 men.
The idea that farming is men's work is less and less credible. We've always said our kind of farming is more cerebral and nurturing, two characteristics that tend to favor women. Both of our apprentices for the 2018-19 year are women.
The largest property we rent is run by a lady, who has managed it superbly for more than 5 years. We're not talking about backyard stuff. It's 360 acres of pasture, every day moving a herd of cattle that numbers more than 300. Technology like electric fence, water pumps, and certainly tractors have certainly changed the ratio of extreme physical-to-extreme intellectual activ
In recent years, I've wondered why we often struggle to get as viable intern candidates from men as we do from women. I have no idea why, but by and large, the women have better drive, work ethics, and vision than the men. This is on average; each group has stars, and those are the ones we try to keep.
I don't want this post to degenerate into some battle of the sexes, but I do want to encourage women that the opportunities, especially in ecological agriculture, have never been as good. What works best, of course, is a good team.
How many women farmers do you know?