The stereotype of farming as a man’s job is going away – an author says U.S. Census figures prove it. Maurice Hladik, whose book is called Demystifying Food from Farm to Fork, says the number of women in farming has gone up 26 percent from 1997 to 2007.
“Female farmers, including those in partnership with a husband, produce 12 percent of the food in the United States,” says Hladik, who adds that’s close to the percentage – 15 percent – attributed to “corporate” farms.
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Hladik says the discrimination women in all walks of life have seen extends to farming, in terms of access to government programs and to bank loans. That has led to a disparity between the average sizes (410 acres vs. 210 acres) and incomes ($152,000 vs. $36,000) of male- vs. female-operated farms.