By Roger Johnson, president, National Farmers Union
There are many promising trends in agriculture, but certainly the growing number of women who are using their talents to help strengthen the viability of the family farm is one that stands out above many others. As America’s role in supplying food, feed, fuel and fiber to both our nation and the world’s growing population continues to expand, the growing presence of women as chief operators on family farms will help ensure food security for all.
Today, there are nearly one million American women in agriculture, making an economic contribution of nearly $13 billion annually to the nation’s economy. Nationally, they make us roughly 30 percent of farmers and a growing proportion of total NFU membership, farming more than 300 million acres nationally.
Thankfully, women have been drawn to Farmers Unions over the years because of the organization’s progressive stance on many issues important to them, including the historic fight for full voting rights for women. For generations, women have found a home in Farmers Union in both leadership and membership positions, and their presence and participation has helped ensure a more forward looking, balanced voice in family farming.
NFU continues to support women in agriculture and develop their leadership skills through the annual NFU Women’s Conference. Our annual women’s conference seeks to provide the business and farming tools women need to succeed in agriculture while allowing these emerging leaders to network and fine-tune their business acumen. Attendance is still open for the conference, which takes place from Jan. 23 to 27, 2016 in Clearwater Beach, Florida. Registration will remain open until Jan. 15. Discounted early bird registration ends January 5.