Women may not be in the majority for agricultural professions, but they are certainly leaving their mark. Historically, women have always been involved in agriculture. Abigail Adams, the wife of U.S. president John Adams, ran the farm while he was in Philadelphia during the American Revolution. In another century, Anna Baldwin patented one of the first milker machines in the United States. The Women's Land Army, formed during World War II, is often highlighted as one of the major influences women had on United States agriculture in the 20th century.
In more recent times, women are working to get their work recognized by larger audiences. Nonprofit projects focus on raising awareness of women farmers by keeping multimedia records. And it's working, as more women are being recognized for their impact on agriculture.
Today also marks International Women's Day. This day is meant to celebrate women from around the world and create awareness of the challenges women face. This article notes the importance of social media's role in connecting women in agriculture to form a global community. And you can watch short clips introducing female farmers from around the world here.
The Women of CASTAt CAST, we have had notable women lead our Board of Directors, publication task forces, and committees, as well as receive awards. To name a few, Catherine Bertini won the prestigious Borlaug CAST Communication Award in 2011. Three years later, Alison Van Eenennaam, extension specialist at UC-Davis, was awarded the same honor. Last year, Nancy Reichert handed off the title of Board of Directors President to current President Gabe Middleton. And our latest commentary (available Monday) will be presented in Washington, D.C., by the task force chair, Dr. Sylvie Brouder of Purdue University.
As the month progresses, we wish to celebrate all women in agriculture for their contributions to the field.