Women for the Land - American Farmland Trust

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Women for the Land

Empowering women in agriculture to protect the land and embrace conservation

The future of agriculture is increasingly female.

43 percent of U.S. farmland —nearly 388 million acres— is now farmed or co- farmed by women. Many of these women have a strong conservation ethic and are deeply committed to healthy farmland, farm families, and farm communities.

But women face gender-related barriers to managing their land for long-term sustainability. And while women are increasingly in playing primary decision-making roles on farms and many are inclined towards conservation, they remain underrepresented in their utilization of USDA and state-based conservation programs. These programs can support farm viability and conservation practice success. 

AFT firmly believes that women are ideal partners in farmland protection and conservation of our working lands, and that we need to do more to reach them. Our Women for the Land Initiative helps play a role in closing these gaps.

In addition to gendered barriers, we recognize that women have intersecting identities related to their race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and more, and that each of these layers may impact their experiences on the landscape. The disparities that we work to address for women are interconnected to our work to confront racism and inequality as an initiative and as an organization. In our approach, we recognize the need to grapple with the historic and current structures that have enabled disparities along gender and racial lines to persist. We strive to embody this understanding in all that we do in the Women for the Land Initiative.

Learn how to support our initiative.

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Our Strategy

To help address these issues, AFT launched the Women for the Land initiative. This national initiative combines three complementary strategies: (1) facilitating peer-to-peer learning to engage women in agriculture and connect them to resources, (2) research into the barriers women in agriculture face, and (3) policy advocacy to address barriers to resource access and women's success on the land.

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Women for the Land Stories from the Field

North Carolina


Gabrielle, Caitlin, and Nicole leverage AFT’s national Women for the Land initiative to ensure that women in agriculture have access to the resources, technical advice, and policy facilitators they need to be leaders in conservation and resilient agrifood systems. Our regional staff, consultants, and interns are also key to our grassroots efforts across the nation.