Women-operated farms and ranches increased in all sales classes between 1982 and 2007

A chart showing the share of farms and ranches operated principally by women, by sales class of farm or ranch between 1982 and 2007.

The total number of women-operated farms—where the person most responsible for day-to-day business decisions is a woman—more than doubled between 1982 and 2007. In addition, each sales class (adjusted for price changes) experienced a gain. In contrast, the number of men-operated farms declined by 10 percent, and men-operated farms increased in only the largest and smallest sales classes. Since the number of women-operated farms grew more rapidly than that of men-operated farms in each sales class, women principal operators increased their share of farms in every sales class during the past 25 years. Women operators accounted for 14 percent of all farms, but their share of farms with no or very low sales was even larger, at roughly 21 percent. For sales exceeding $100,000, however, women’s share of farms remained small, in the 4- to 5-percent range. This chart is found in the ERS report, Characteristics of Women Farm Operators and Their Farms, EIB-111, April 2013.

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