Agricultural Education and Communication Department
BS in Agricultural Communication
Ms. Megan Silcott
Agriculture has traditionally been a male-dominated industry; however, recent years have shown a significant growth in female presence. Women are beginning to take leadership roles both on the farm and within advocacy, lobbying, and business entities in the industry. According to the latest agricultural census data from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), in 2012, women farmers controlled seven percent of the nation’s farmland (Census, 2014). Additionally, women held leadership roles in 14 percent of the nation’s two million farms (Census, 2014). This data is several years old, and likely the numbers have grown since the last census was taken.
The National Agricultural Library’s website articulates the variety of roles that are available to women in agriculture today: “Women fill many roles in agriculture. They are farmers and farm workers, ranchers, agricultural researchers, educators and agri-business people” (Agricultural Library, 2014). This seminar is directed primarily at women in California, though ideally it could be replicated anywhere. California leads the nation in agricultural output by a large margin, and as such is a role model for the rest of the nation. There are more and more jobs each year available to women in agriculture; it is an exciting field for women to be in today. It is also important to note that careers in agriculture does not necessarily mean “on the farm.” There are opportunities for everything from educators to lawyers to accountants and credit managers. Ideally this seminar will host a speaker who can address the range of available careers.