Women in Agriculture
Why is MIFFS interested in supporting women in agriculture?
- Did you know? As of 2007, there are almost one million female farmers in the US (30.2%) (USDA ERS/NASS). Michigan alone saw an increase of 17.6% from 2002 to 2007. (USDA AG Census)
- How are they different? Women run farms tend to be very small. In 2007, only 5% had sales of $100,000 or more. Nearly half of the women specialized in grazing livestock. (USDA ERS)
What is MIFFS currently doing for women in agriculture?
In Flint, MIFFS partnered with a team of women farmers, Michigan State University Extension (MSUE), The MSU Center for Regional Food Systems (CRFS), The Community Foundation of Greater Flint, and the Genesee County Schools to initiate a Women-in-Ag Collective Farming Center. This center will set up the farm and sales process for more fresh vegetables to be purchased and served in Genesee County Schools. CRFS will fund a facilitated Women-in-Ag Network, encouraging women to help each other solve problems and develop new solutions for themselves, their families, and their communities.
Read the Discovering Ourselves: A Pilot Network of Women-in-Agriculture Genesee County and Extended Area report, which outlines the planning process, proceedings and lessons learned from a unique pilot project that created the Women in Agriculture of Genesee County and Extended Area Network. This project was led by Michigan Food and Farming Systems (MIFFS) in cooperation with the MSU Center for Regional Food Systems. Authors include Michelle Napier-Dunnings, Rory Neuner, Shakara Tyler, and Rich Pirog.