March 28, 2016

The Changing Role of Women in Nebraska Agriculture

We've all seen Grant Woods' famous "American Gothic" painting of the older farm couple, him with pitchfork in hand and her with the dour look--standing side by side in front of the small white farmhouse. That iconic image may have been accurate in its day (or not!), but today's farm couples and the family farms they operate are vastly different.

Today, farm women play a critical role in the success of a Nebraska family farm. They may work shoulder-to-shoulder with a husband or other family member on the farm--or they may be running the operation themselves. They also might have an off-the-farm job to help supplement income and insurance coverage--and in many cases, those jobs are related to agriculture.

And more and more young women are returning to Nebraska farms and ranches to raise their own families. Farm women are driving tractors and grain carts, helping deliver newborn calves, selling pivot irrigation systems, managing ag loan portfolios, and advocating on behalf of their family farms and agriculture. Nebraska farm women are continuing their family legacy--and bringing their special talents, passion and insight to their family farms and to the agricultural community.

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