Ag industry seeing increase in women farmers - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Ag industry seeing increase in women farmers

Posted: Updated:

JACKSON CO. --  While women farmers face some challenges in the agriculture field, many say those challenges wont stop them from thriving on farms.

The USDA reported women account for 30 percent of farm operators in the U.S. and local farmers say those numbers keep growing. 

"You're not just the farmer's wife, you're the farmer," said Ava-resident and farmer Pam Dierks. "You see all these women that are playing huge parts on the farms and some of them actually run the farms themselves." 

Dierks works with her family on their grass fed beef farm, Dierks Farm. She loves her job but it sometimes comes with hurdles.

"You're not taken seriously," Dierks said. "You still have the people that look at it and think a farmer has to be a man."

Despite the challenges, women continue to grow in the agriculture industry. Lynn Heins works at the University of Illinois Extension in Murphysboro and told News 3 about one in seven farms are managed by a female farmer.

"I personally know a lot of farm women that are out doing the vaccinations on the hogs, they're driving the combine and they're doing the record books," Heins said.

Heins hopes those women will inspire her 5-year-old twins. 

"I have two daughters myself and I want them to know that they could have equally powerful contributions to the farming industry that men can have," Heins said.

While Lynn thinks about the possibilities for her daughters, Dierks thinks about her children and her granddaughter.

"My boys will be fifth-generation of the farm and hopefully our little grand daughter will be the 6th generation," Dierks said. 

And she hopes to see more women across southern Illinois take on roles in agriculture.

"It's happening, but it just takes the strong women to stand up and say they're part of this too," Dierks said.

  • More NewsMore>>

  • Farmers have among highest rate of suicide

    Farmers have among highest rate of suicide

    Thursday, December 14 2017 11:46 PM EST2017-12-15 04:46:27 GMT

    WSIL -- Farming commonly ranks among the most dangerous occupations, but it also ranks as the highest occupations for suicide according to a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2016. 

    WSIL -- Farming commonly ranks among the most dangerous occupations, but it also ranks as the highest occupations for suicide according to a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2016. 

  • Dozens push back about reorganization at SIU Board of Trustees meeting

    Dozens push back about reorganization at SIU Board of Trustees meeting

    Thursday, December 14 2017 11:45 PM EST2017-12-15 04:45:00 GMT

    CARBONDALE -- It was a standing room only crowd Thursday morning. SIU student Bandon Kyles is one of hundreds of people who shared concerns at the meeting.

    CARBONDALE -- It was a standing room only crowd Thursday morning. SIU student Bandon Kyles is one of hundreds of people who shared concerns at the meeting.

  • Q&A with Illinois gubernatorial candidate Daniel Biss

    Q&A with Illinois gubernatorial candidate Daniel Biss

    Thursday, December 14 2017 10:33 PM EST2017-12-15 03:33:13 GMT

    CARTERVILLE -- On Thursday, Illinois Democratic gubernatorial candidate State Sen. Daniel Biss sat down with News 3's Brandon Richard for a wide-ranging interview about his campaign, the state Democratic Party, his biggest guilty pleasure and his strange love for math. 

    CARTERVILLE -- On Thursday, Illinois Democratic gubernatorial candidate State Sen. Daniel Biss sat down with News 3's Brandon Richard for a wide-ranging interview about his campaign, the state Democratic Party, his biggest guilty pleasure and his strange love for math. 

Most Popular

Stories
Videos
Slideshows
loading...
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 WSIL. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.