During Women’s History Month and National Agriculture Week, California recognized the importance of women in agriculture with an official resolution. Introduced by Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, with support from American Farmland Trust, California passed the nation’s first Women in Agriculture Resolution.
Did you hear? California passes nation’s first #WomenInAgResolution and @Farmland makes statement in support h/t @Caitlin__Joseph #Womenfortheland https://t.co/hsVNf6ObrD #WomensHistoryMonth #womeninag #womenfarmers #womenranchers #CALeg pic.twitter.com/OM1JXB4fJo
— AmerFarmlandTrust CA (@FarmlandCA) March 24, 2022
Women in agriculture represent an under-utilized ally in the effort to navigate California’s challenges such as climate change, farmland loss, and aging farmer populations. Though historically relegated to less visible roles in agriculture, women have always been critical to the success of our nation’s farms and ranches. Increasingly, women are pursuing leadership roles as farm managers, farmland owners, and advocates for sound agricultural policies that provide real solutions to the industry’s challenges.
The resolution pointed to the importance of women in agriculture including:
- With women and girls now outpacing their male counterparts in 4-H and higher education programs related to agriculture, the future of agriculture is increasingly female.
- In 2017, women represented 37 percent of California’s total producers, placing the state not even in the top ten in the U.S. for its proportion of women producers
- Women and farmers of color remain underrepresented in federal funding that supports conservation in California, with just 14 percent of NRCS conservation practice incentive contracts going to white women and only 2 percent to non-white women between 2015-2020.
California is not the one’s to recognize women’s role in the agriculture industry. U.S. Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND), joined Sens. Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Tina Smith (R-MN) in calling for Thursday, March 24, to be designated as “National Women in Agriculture Day.” The bipartisan resolution was supported by 55 senators.
“National Women in Agriculture Day recognizes agriculture as one of the most impactful industries of the United States, and acknowledges the countless women who help agriculture prosper both at home and abroad,” states the resolution.