YOUR TEXAS AGRICULTURE MINUTE
More women farming, ranching in Texas
By Gary Joiner
The 2017 Census of Agriculture revealed some interesting information about Texas farmers and ranchers.
Texas has the most farms of any state in the country. About 250,000.
Who’s running those farms is changing. The 2017 census points to a huge increase in the number of women who are farming and ranching.
The difference in the five years between census counts was over 18,000 women. In comparison, the number of male farmers and ranchers increased by 5,000 during the same period.
The recent ag census did a better job of capturing who is farming and ranching. In previous years, respondents were only allowed to enter information on the principal operator of the farm. The question did not allow entering others who were equally involved in decision-making and management of the farm. The change in approach is good.
And a great percentage of women in agriculture are active advocates and leaders. A recent American Farm Bureau Federation online survey revealed 75% of respondents are leaders at the local level, 50% are leaders at the state level and 26% are leaders at the national level.
Texas agriculture is changing. It will be interesting to see what the next Census of Agriculture in 2022 reveals.
The preceding commentary is brought to you by Texas Farm Bureau, the “Voice of Texas Agriculture.” Called “Your Texas Agriculture Minute,” TFB will issue thought-provoking editorials each week—via print and audio—to spark understanding of agriculture in the Lone Star State and its impact on each and every Texan.
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