I’m often asked, who are my women farmer role models. I can think of awesome women farmers who are currently farming but I start to draw a blank when I try to think of women farmers who blazed the agricultural trail back in the day.
So this past March in honor of Women’s History month I decided that I would post photos of women farmers of yesteryear on Quarter Acre’s facebook page.
I had grand visions of posting a woman a day and finishing the month with 31 historical women farmers.
Well this project turned out to be harder than I thought. A simple google search doesn’t really give you any results. Instead, searching for lady farmers involved a lot more digging.
I found many by searching for the men they were compared to. For example Theodosia Shepherd who founded the California seed industry is labeled the female Luther Burbank.
I also realized that it was hard to track down women farmers because that occupation was not consider something of note.
Many of the women farmers I was able to find were typically listed in the history books for something else and farming was only mentioned as an after thought.
Such as Alva Belmont who holds a place in history books because she was a socialite and suffragette. But Alva happen to also be the founder of a training school for female farmers, which I learned from various newspaper articles from the 1900’s.
I researched as much as could with any free time had in front of the computer but by the end of the month I had only found a total of 12 wonderful women.
It is not a very large number but it pique my interest in continuing to learn more about agricultural women of the past.