Canada is the fifth largest agricultural exporter in the world and over one-quarter (27.5%) of Canadian farmers are women. Women are an important part of the workforce in Canada, and an increasingly important part of the Agricultural production of our country.
Across Canada farmers — a majority of whom are men — are getting older. The next generation of farmers is slowly taking over. We have seen a major increase in the number of women taking over family farms, and entering the field as new farmers.
Women can face unique challenges as a working farmer. Finding a balance between a farm career and family goals can be hard. The lack of female role models and rural child care can limit networking opportunities and career growth. Commodity boards and the agribusiness industry are staffed more often by men, and this can create an atmosphere of a “boys club”.
Having women in decision-making positions could have an impact beyond gender equity. Women want more information before making decisions and might take fewer risks in stressful situations. In a farm with partner operators and more collaborative decision-making, there’s more opportunity for balancing year-to-year yields rather than extreme highs and lows based on the risks that male operators are taking. This can be a great thing for the viability and long-term sustainability of a farm.
An open minded approach and support for women in farming will be good for the Canadian Farming sector and the Country as a whole.
If you are a woman farmer or a woman looking to start or buy a farm, Canadian Grants Business Center can help. Find funding at:
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