Advancements in farming technology have opened the door to more women returning to run the family farm, which used to be considered a "man's world." High tech farm equipment has helped to alleviate the physical demands, and the need for business management skills fits the abilities of many women.
The share of U.S. farms operated by women nearly tripled, from 5% in 1978 to 14% in 2007. In the latest census, the share of women farmers hasn't changed dramatically. In 2012 it was still 13.7% compared to 13.9% five years earlier.
Whether they're the principal operator, have inherited farm ground or married into a farm family, some women find themselves in a position that requires knowledge of managing a farm operation. Many have little background experience or training to do so.
Catered to farm women
Johnson County K-State Research and Extension is launching The Farmer's Daughter: A Women in Agriculture educational series to provide information and training on a wide variety of farm management topics that will be catered directly to farm women. Women with any level of experience in farm management or with any degree of farm involvement are invited to attend. There will be something for everyone to learn.
The first session in the series is September 19, from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., at the Johnson County Extension Office, 11811 S. Sunset Drive in Olathe. The program will start at 9 a.m. with coffee, juice and rolls. The program will focus on a recap of the current wheat harvest, a look at farm income levels over the past year and finish up with some brainstorming for future meeting dates, topics and times.
This program is free but advance registration is required by contacting Rick Miller, county agriculture agent, at 913-715-7000. The series is made possible with support from Johnson County Farm Bureau, K-State Research and Extension, and Frontier Farm Credit.