The UN reported in 2011 that women make up an average of about 43% of the agricultural labor force in developing countries. According to the 2012 Census of Agriculture, there are 969,672 women farmers in the United States, meaning 31% of American farmers are women. Of those women, a combined 301 million acres are being farmed, and a $12.9 billion economic impact. In Indiana alone there are 23,989 women farmers, farming just over 4 million acres and making a $294.6 million impact. And those are just the statistics from 2011 and 2012 – imagine how those numbers have grown! The numbers speak for themselves; women hold their own in agriculture.
Agriculture helps feed people from all over the world, and women are playing a crucial role to get the job done. From on and off the farm, the impact women have in agriculture is undeniable. One of our owners, Sue McCloskey, has been featured in Food & Wine and Good Housekeeping magazines, detailing her crucial position in the agriculture world. Not only does she own Fair Oaks Farms with her husband, Michael, where we strive to educate and inform others on the present and future of farming. She also is a founder of Fairlife, a company that produces top-quality milk that is unfiltered, free of lactose and rBST, and contains 50% more proteins, 30% more calcium, and half the sugars found in other brands of milk. We’re proud to be a product of Sue McCloskey’s great mind and to be a part of her story in ag.
Agriculture has come such a long way, and even though it is still mainly dominated by male farmers, women are making names for themselves and making their farming passions known across the world! So on this International Women’s Day, we want to give a big thank you to all the women that are supporting agriculture, educating others, and pushing the industry forward. We appreciate all that you do, no matter what part you play!