More than a Farm Wife

Farm Wife. That’s what we call women who drive tractors, haul grain, gather cattle, run to town for parts, and cook supper, all with kiddos in tow. Often “farm wives” downplay their contributions to their farming operations, dismissing their involvement in the day-to-day operations including marketing and accounting.

A new Center for Rural Affairs project with the Women Food and Agriculture Network in Iowa aims to empower women as knowledgeable, business-savvy, focused owners and operators of farms and ranches.  More than farm wives.

Women are responding - telling us they need training and access to financial resources to get started in agriculture. Our Farm Dreams workshop in Syrcause, Nebraska, last month did just that.  The training helped aspiring women farmers and ranchers focus their farm dream to an achievable goal, identify financial resources and get started developing a business plan.

The women in attendance brought innovative ideas and narrowed them down to mission statements, integrating the most important aspects on their operations, including healthy soil and water, community involvement and social responsibility. I was especially inspired by a young woman dreaming of starting her own medicinal herb farm. More than a farm wife, for sure.

The Center for Rural Affairs supports women at all stages of their operations. Please call or email me, Virginia Meyer (virginiam@cfra.org) or 402.687.2103 ext. 1014 for more information on our work with women farmers and ranchers.