Explore women leaders in ag this Women’s History Month.
March is Women’s History Month, and it’s an opportune time to examine the growing role of women leaders in ag. Women have always played a significant role in agriculture, but those roles have not been as emphasized as they should have been. Today, women are stepping into leadership roles like never before and helping the ag industry to achieve more. Explore the start of Women’s History Month and the advancement of women in agriculture, below.
The History of Women’s History Month
Women’s History Month was started in 1981 when Congress authorized the President to proclaim a national celebration week in March as Women’s History Week. According to WomensHistoryMonth.gov the first Women’s History Week was in March of 1982. Through Congressional resolutions, Women’s History Week continued until 1987 when Congress expanded the designation to Women’s History Month after being petitioned by the National Women’s History Project.
The month is meant to highlight the contributions of women throughout history, from the women’s suffrage movement to present day. The role of women in agriculture is an important topic that needs to be highlighted in this month that celebrates the achievements and contributions of women.
Women Leaders in Ag
Women have always contributed to agriculture, from working directly in the field to supporting those who do. Women are stepping into leadership roles in agriculture, such as being the primary owner-operator of farms and ranches. According to data from the USDA, 31 percent of U.S. farmers are women and 14 percent of them are principal operators. Women farm a combined 301,386,860 acres with the top commodities for principal operators being combination crops, beef cattle, combination animals, sheep and goats, and grains and oilseeds. It amounts to 969,672 women farmers who have a $12.9 billion impact on the nation’s economy.
The Florida Farm Bureau offers a program, Farm Bureau Women, that is dedicated to promoting agriculture to the public through programs and events, in addition to many other activities. The next event, the Women’s Leadership Conference, is scheduled for April 5th through 7th at the Westshore Grand Hotel in Tampa, Florida. The conference offers lectures and breakout sessions that focus on promoting leadership for women in agriculture. Register here for the event.
At AgAmerica, we support women leaders in ag as a natural part of promoting the success of the ag industry. Through our customized loan solutions, we are dedicated to aiding in the financial success of your operation and the future of agriculture. Meet just a few of our women leaders:
- Courtney Eelman, Chief Credit Officer
- Jackie Toenes, Chief Operating Office, Corporate Treasurer
- Julia Hubbard, Chief Financial Officer