Statement on California Women in Agriculture Resolution
American Farmland Trust applauds the passage of California’s Women in Agriculture Resolution (ACR-158), championed by AFT and sponsored by Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (District 4), the first of its kind in the nation.
Although underrepresented, women have always been crucial to the success of California’s farms and ranches. In 2017, women represented only 37 percent of California’s total producers, placing the state not even in the top ten in the U.S. for its proportion of women producers. Further, women and farmers of color receive disproportionate federal funds, which support California conservation, with only 14 percent of NRCS conservation practice incentive contracts going to white women and two percent to non-white women between 2015-2020.
This resolution elevates awareness of the diverse and critical roles women play in California agriculture, as well as some of the disparities they experience. It specifically cites women’s increasing leadership roles as land managers, farmland owners and advocates for sound agricultural policies, as well as the growing and critical presence of women as farm laborers, urban agriculture producers, and tribal producers. It further notes that formal participation of women in agriculture is historically high, with female enrollment numbers in agricultural programs at land-grant universities across the nation outpacing those of males since 2009.
AFT is grateful to the California Assembly and specifically Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry for bolstering women’s representation in California agriculture and looks forward to seeing additional action taken to help close resource access gaps and realize the success of women as leaders on the land.
American Farmland Trust is the only national organization that takes a holistic approach to agriculture, focusing on the land itself, the agricultural practices used on that land, and the farmers and ranchers who do the work. AFT launched the conservation agriculture movement and continues to raise public awareness through our No Farms, No Food message. Since our founding in 1980, AFT has helped permanently protect over 6.8 million acres of agricultural lands, advanced environmentally-sound farming practices on millions of additional acres and supported thousands of farm families.