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July 17, 2014

Women Taking on a Larger Role in Agriculture

For more information on Newsline, contact: Kari Barbic, Media Specialist, American Farm Bureau Federation, karib@fb.org.

More and more women are becoming increasingly involved with agriculture and taking on leadership roles in the industry. Seanica Otterby has the story.
OtterbyOver the past 10 years, the presence of women in agriculture has increased with a 14 percent rise in the number of female farm operators and a 21 percent rise in the number of female principal farm operators, according to the latest Census of Agriculture. American Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee Chair Terry Gilbert, a Kentucky farmer, explains what contributed to this increase.
GilbertThere are women who are getting into farming to do specialty-type farming. A lot of women are involved in the vegetable and fruit area that is reaching that local market. Everybody wants to know their farmer, know their food and know where their food comes from, and I think a lot of women are getting into farming, answering that need.
OtterbyGilbert says women in agriculture still face obstacles.
GilbertThere still seems to be a little bit of a prejudice or negativity against a woman, “well she can’t do what a man can do," but I think women are extremely capable of being leaders in our agriculture industry and in our organizations.
OtterbyGilbert would like to see more women involved in agricultural leadership.
GilbertFarm Bureau women’s programs can help women become involved in leadership positions in agriculture. We try to offer educational programs, programs that help train them to be spokespersons, to help them feel comfortable speaking in front of a group and talking about what they do and why they do it. And I feel like that’s a very important job that we do as a women’s leadership program.
OtterbySeanica Otterby, Washington.

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