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Oregon has more women in agriculture than U.S. average


Naomi Montacre stands where she and the other employees of Naomi’s Organic Farm Supply used to operate when between locations. (Molly Harbarger/The Oregonian)

Oregon has more women involved in farming than the national average, according to recently released federal statistics.

Nearly 40 percent of Oregon’s farmers are women, working more than 7 million acres of land. The United States Department of Agriculture reported Monday that about 31 percent of the country’s farmers are women.

The state-by-state numbers were released because the USDA is launching a program to foster mentoring between women farmers. The idea is to boost the number of women in farming.

Farming is in the midst of a contraction, with fewer young people entering the farming trades and older farmers aging out. Many programs are aimed at getting young farmers up and running, or providing land and capital for people who want to eventually own a farm of their own.

Oregon‘s numbers, according to the USDA:

  • 22,772 women in agriculture
  • 39 percent of all farmers are women
  • 7.3 billion acres farmed
  • $263.4 billion impact

Washington‘s numbers:

  • 22,376 women in agriculture
  • 37 percent of all farmers are women
  • 4.9 million acres farmed
  • $244.4 billion economic impact

U.S. numbers:

  • 969,672 women in agriculture
  • 31 percent of all farmers are women
  • 301.3 million acres farmed
  • $12.9 billion economic impact

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