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Women for the Land - California

Helping California Women Lead in Regenerative Agriculture

California agriculture is experiencing extreme transitions. The threat to agricultural land in California is among the nation’s highest, and climate change is bringing new stressors to agricultural businesses. Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought into full relief the critical role that farm- and food system-workers play in ensuring community food security. California’s agricultural sector will need unprecedented collaboration, innovation, and equity to continue to thrive.

Women in agriculture represent an under-utilized ally in the effort to navigate these challenges. Though historically relegated to less visible roles in agriculture, women have always been critical to the success of California’s farms and ranches. And increasingly, women are pursuing leadership roles as farm managers, farmland owners, and advocates for sound agricultural policies that provide real solutions to the industry’s challenges.

  • With women and girls now outpacing their male counterparts in 4-H and higher education programs related to agriculture, the future of agriculture is increasingly female.
  • In 2017, women represented 37% of California’s total producers, placing the state not even in the top ten in the U.S. for its proportion of women producers.
  • Women and farmers of color also remain underrepresented in federal funding that supports conservation in California, with just 14% of NRCS conservation practice incentive contracts going to white women and only 2% to non-white women between 2015-2020.

Clearly, there is work to do. Our Women for the Land (WFL) Initiative works to address gender-related barriers in collaboration with partners across California through peer-to-peer learning, research, and policy advocacy. We’re helping women and femmes find their power, access the resources they need, and tap into networks to support their success.

Our Impact

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Women for the Land programming has reached women in 18 counties across California

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In last two years, Women for the Land programming has impacted 23,579 acres of farm and ranch land in California

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38% of women who participated in last two years of California programming are actively managing farm or ranchland and more than 63% reported an intention to sign up for USDA Conservation program following the event

Metrics of attendees at WFL Learning Circles

Our Learning Circles help women grow the knowledge, skills, and confidence with key aspects of farmland management, viability, and protection, including how to access financial and technical resources from service providers who join our events. Topics covered:

Climate Stressors and Solutions
Planning for Resilience: Implications of Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA)
Succession Planning & Land Access: The Role of Conservation Easements
Agricultural Conservation Easements: Taking the Next Step
Negotiation Skills for Womxn Farmers
Field Day: Land Tenure & Conservation Intersections

 

Related Reading

Want to get involved in our programming or have questions for our team?