Census: U.S. female-operated farms more than doubled since 1982

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service said the number of female-operated farms more than doubled between 1982 and 2012.

Nearly 1 million women are farming, a number that represents 30 percent of U.S. farmers. Furthermore, 14 percent of the nation's 2.1 million farms and 22 percent of the nation's oil seed farms had a female principal operator in 2012.

The Census also said the number of minority and young farmers is also growing, with African American and Hispanic farmers increasing by 12 and 21 percent, respectively, from 2007 to 2012. In that same time frame, the number of American Indian farmers increased by 5 percent.

 Female and minority farmers are part of the resurgence in agriculture that is bringing renewed spirit to communities and the economy, creating jobs and forging strong connections among farmers, businesses and consumers. It's important to the farmer-leaders of the soy checkoff to continue to represent the farmers they serve, and that means continuing to focus on diversity at the local, state and national levels.

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U.S. Census Bureau

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