Lawmakers recently introduced the Women in Agriculture Act. The legislation would establish a research priority for agriculture machinery and equipment designed to be used by women, and create a funding set aside for childcare facilities in rural areas. The bill also creates a Women Farmers and Ranchers Liaison position at the Department of Agriculture. Although the number of women in the agriculture industry is growing, the majority of tools are designed and manufactured the height, strength and body type of a man.
Representative Chellie Pingree, a Democrat from Maine, led the introduction of the bill. She says, “The Women in Agriculture Act provides resources specifically for women farmers and ranchers to level the playing field and work towards a fairer agriculture industry.”
In 2019, women accounted for 26 percent of the farm labor workforce, a 19 percent increase since 2009. However, farms operated by women earn 40 percent less income compared to male-dominated farms.