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Female Farmers Taking the World By Storm

By admin | September 14, 2011

Photo: International Institue of Tropical Agriculture

By: Melaina Gasbarrino

Way back in the day farming was completed by the whole household. Everyone had to wake up in the wee hours of the morning and take to the soil. The ladies would go and milk the cows and the men would hoe the garden. It wasn’t until recently that ladies around the world started to develop their own gardens and attempt to change the mantra that men are stronger and could take to the fields better than women.

Ann Adams and Liz Brensinger started farming way back in 1995 but were unable to sufficiently create a perfect farm, as the tools they were using were too ‘manly’. In Claire Gordon’s “Female Farmers: The New Food Industry Frontier”, Adams and Brensinger felt that female farmers should be able to farm with their own means of equipment. The article states that “farm equipment was designed for men, and men’s bodies were different,” therefore Adams and Brensinger were ready to create new products that would benefit women farmers. Just four years ago the duo launched Green Heron Tools, a company that exclusively produces farm equipment for females. With support from women farmers around the USA and two USDA Small Business Innovation Research grants the duo were off to start something that would benefit female farmers. Female farmers around the country are eager for the launch of the Hergonomic Shovel-Spade, which is set to come out in the next couple of weeks.

Female farmers are finally being shown in the limelight and Adams and Brensinger couldn’t be happier. Looking to some statistics, the Department of Agriculture Census showed that there has been “an almost 30% increase in female-operated farms since 2002, a leap from the 13% growth in the five years previous. Fourteen percent of farms are now female-owned.”

We all know there is a gender imbalance when it comes to movements around the world, but  FoodCorps, Slow Food USA, Roots of Change and The Wholesome Wave Foundation are all under the guidance of a larger ratio of females to males. This showcases that with the new innovative tools created by Adams and Brensinger they just may be able to get females from around the world to purchase their products and promote them under the companies they work for. Women are readily taking over the farm world so keep your eyes peeled for a farm near you that promotes gender equality.

Photo: IITA Image Library

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