To the naked eye, agriculture may seem like one thing: a guy growing something vaguely like corn next to the road you take to get to work. Food and farmers, or equipment and animals. Look a little closer to see what’s really there. Agriculture is a world unto itself, and it has labels, stereotypes, discrimination and cliques...even fashion.
This episode of Field Notes is about female farmers and landowners. What sort of challenges do they face because of their gender ”label”? This 2007 Census report outlines the demographics. To get at the on-the-ground realities, Harvest Public Media’s Kathleen Masterson joins me with a story from the Women, Food and Agriculture Network. I also chat with Melissa Walker, a female historian from Converse College in South Carolina. Walker’s researched the fairer sex’s stereotype-journey from the tragically widowed farmer’s wife to the modern-day landowner with tenants, income and power.
Even using the label “female farmer” is painting with broad strokes -- there’s much more to this topic, and Harvest Public Media has come prepared. Kathleen Masterson has more coverage with an upcoming series (Her land, her farm), and on March 1, we’ll broadcast a live, call-in talk show in Kansas City, Mo. and across Iowa about this subject.