Ponytail Power!

Once again, I cannot express how amazed I am by the people I am surrounded by in the ag industry. Students, teachers, professionals, friends. Any way I turn, I see incredible people doing incredible things. The best part about it, though, is how many women I see in ag. Maybe it’s just because I’m becoming more aware of women in agriculture, but it seems like every day I find someone new to follow. To me, it seems like women are becoming a bigger part of the ag picture – now that’s something I can get behind!

When it comes to citing statistics, StatCan makes it incredibly difficult to find concise information. After doing a little digging, however, these are a few of the incredible numbers I’ve found:

  • There are 80,665 Canadian female farm operators
    • Of those operators, 10,740 were solo operators – that’s over 13%! (StatCan, 2011)
  • 48.4% of Canadian female farm operators work both on and off the farm (StatCan, 2011)
  • In total, there are 12,785 female-only operated farms in Canada
    • There are 205,170 farms total in Canada – that means that over 6% of them are run solely by women! (StatCan, 2011)

And that’s just for farms! There are so many other areas of Canadian agriculture where women are making a significant impact. Projects such as Rural Women Making Chance (RWMC), based out of Guelph, support research done by women.  Women helping women.  There are pages on Facebook, such as Ag Women’s Network, that connect women with resources and support to advance further as leaders in agriculture. Just this past week, I read that the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE), a huge fair at the end of the summer with strong agricultural roots, has its first female general manager, Virginia Ludy.

Yes, there are still huge gender gaps in the workforce – especially in agriculture, a traditionally male-dominated industry. But women are making their mark on ag, and that’s something to celebrate! To all women involved in any part of agriculture, here’s to you!

Emma — The Suburban Aggie

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One thought on “Ponytail Power!

  1. I cannot wait to be part of those solo operators! I was once, I will be again. I think women are now becoming a larger part of the agricultural workforce due to the fact there is a growing interest in special ag products or niches. These niches tend to be focused on small scale or more artistic farms. They tend to be more “lady friendly” and that is totally fine! It’s one way to start breaking into the gentleman’s club that is farming.

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