Women in Agriculture Facts

General Women in Agriculture Statistics:

The 2007 Census of Agriculture - United States Data reported that there were 985,192 women operators of farms and ranches.  Of these, 306,209 women are the principal operators working with 64,264,566 acres. In the United States the, average age of all female operators is 54.0 years and of the female principal operations it is 58.8 years.
The 2007 Census of Agriculture - Nebraska data reported that there were 18,144 female operators and 4,025 principal operators, working with 2,231,833 acres.  The Nebraska average age of female operators 54.1 years and of female principal operators 61.6 years.

The US Census of Agriculture defines:

  • Operator. The term operator designates a person who operates a farm, either doing the work or making day-to-day decisions about such things as planting, harvesting, feeding, and marketing. The operator may be the owner, a member of the owner's household, a hired manager, a tenant, a renter, or a sharecropper. If a person rents land to others or has land worked on shares by others, he/she is considered the operator only of the land which is retained for his/her own operation. The census collected information on the total number of operators, the total number of women operators, and demographic information for up to three operators per farm.
  • Operators, number. Demographic and other information were collected for up to three operators per farm - the principal operator plus up to two additional operators. This may be fewer than the total operators on some farms. Demographic data for up to three operators reported are presented separately for women, by race categories, and for Spanish, Hispanic, or Latino origin.
  • Operators, total. The data represent the total reported number of operators for the operation.
  • Operators, total women. The data represent the total number of women operators reported for the operation.
  • Principal operator. The person primarily responsible for the on-site, day-to-day operation of the farm or ranch business. This person may be a hired manager or business manager. See Operators for further explanation.