Why farm and ranch women are a unique audience with unique challenges
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Why Farm and Ranch Women are a Unique Audience with Unique Challenges. Maria Miller, Director of Education National Farmers Union [email protected] nfu.org Facebook.com/ nfu.education 202-697-0128. Why Farm and Ranch Women are a Unique Audience with Unique Challenges.

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Why Farm and Ranch Women are a Unique Audience with Unique Challenges

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Why farm and ranch women are a unique audience with unique challenges

Why Farm and Ranch Women are a Unique Audience with Unique Challenges

Maria Miller, Director of Education

National Farmers Union

[email protected]

nfu.org

Facebook.com/nfu.education

202-697-0128


Why farm and ranch women are a unique audience with unique challenges1

Why Farm and Ranch Women are a Unique Audience with Unique Challenges

As told by a women who farmed for nearly 25 years


Challenge 1

Challenge 1

  • At times, farm women are not viewed as true partners by family, lenders, ag businesses, and even their own husbands or farm partner. For example, farms may have accounts with member-owned cooperatives that place stock only in the husband's name, preventing the wife from voting at annual meetings or running for the board. Lenders may want the wife's off-farm income to secure an operating loan yet not allow the wife to have any input on the loan use or its conditions.


Challenge 2

Challenge 2

  • Farm women often live where they work. Unlike women who can leave the stress of a day job behind at 5 p.m., women farmers are surrounded by their stress 24/7. The lifestyle of agriculture demands a much higher standard of time management, and seldom leaves opportunities to decompress, let alone escape. Interaction with other women can be limited. Their daily grind leaves little time to build and maintain relationships with friends, colleagues, or even other women farmers.


Challenge 3

Challenge 3

  • Despite gains made in overall culture, farm women can and do shoulder most of the demands of child rearing, house keeping, meal preparation, bookkeeping, and farm labor. They drive combines, handle livestock, run for parts, pay the bills, and feed the family. They volunteer in their churches, schools, and attend their children's activities from FFA to cross country. It can be exhausting.


Challenge 4

Challenge 4

  • Many farm women have off-farm jobs to bring in extra income and especially health care benefits. These women face burnout, and their efforts may be unnoticed, unappreciated, or seen as competing with the farm.


Challenge 5

Challenge 5

  • The personal growth of a farm woman can be put on hold for years and sometimes for a lifetime, being sacrificed for the farm. When farming is good, husbands/partners are often preoccupied with land values, market signals, input costs, expanding and equipment purchases. When the farm economy is bad, partners often focus on land values, maintaining existing leases, paying on operating loans, market signals, input costs, and equipment maintenance. Either way, the family can become a lower priority than the farm.


Challenge 6

Challenge 6

  • Farming is difficult, requires large financial risks, is overshadowed by daily uncertainty from severe weather to equipment failure to interest rates. Farming remains a dangerous occupation, placing children, hired hands, partners and farm women at great risk.


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