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The Crop of Women In Agriculture Continues to Grow

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PHOTO: It's becoming more common to see women operating farms and ranches in the region, and the Center for Rural Affairs is working to connect them with resources they may not otherwise know are available. Photo credit: Solly Markovitch
PHOTO: It's becoming more common to see women operating farms and ranches in the region, and the Center for Rural Affairs is working to connect them with resources they may not otherwise know are available. Photo credit: Solly Markovitch
September 4, 2013

BISMARCK, N.D. - The number of women getting involved in agriculture continues to grow, and efforts are under way across the region to help them achieve success.

During the past decade, said Kim Preston, a research assistant for the Center for Rural Affairs, there's been a roughly 30 percent increase in the number of farms run by women. As with all newcomers to agriculture, she said, the learning curve can be steep.

"Nearly half of the farmland in the Midwest is currently owned or operated by women, and they don't necessarily have access to all of the resources that are available, or they don't know what the resources are available to them," she said. "They're kind of left in the dark about these kinds of things."

To help connect them with resources, a "Women Caring for the Land" discussion and farm tour will be held Thursday in Medina. More information is online at the Center for Rural Affairs website, cfra.org. The event will include information on state and national resources, Preston said, along with a peer discussion for women landowners to talk about their goals for such issues as land stewardship.

"Conservation practices, what they can be doing with their land; how they can work with their tenants, basically to improve their soil and water quality," she said, "and different types of conservation things that they can start doing to their ground, or continue doing to their ground."

Nationally, it's estimated that women run more than 300,000 farms.

More information is online at cfra.org.

John Michaelson, Public News Service - ND