Women are increasingly taking the reins in Canada's agriculture industry, even though it can mean long hours and grueling work. While women have always been involved in farming and agriculture, their role is changing with the times - and the value of their work is just beginning to be recognized.

Just who are the women running Canada's farms?

  • Average age of 54.5
  • Median age of 55.0
  • 10.3 per cent were immigrants
  • Average total income of $43,216
  • Median total income of $32,363
  • Top three mother tongue (excluding English and French) are German, Dutch and Punjabi
  • Top three place of birth (excluding Canada) are Netherlands, United Kingdom and the United States

Source: 2016 Census of Agriculture

More fast facts:

  • In 2016, women ran just 28.7 per cent of canadian farms, up one percent from the previous measure in 2011. That's nearly 78,000 of about 272,000 total farmers. In comparison, in 1996 women accounted for just 25.3 per cent of farm operators. (2016 Census of Agriculture)
  • A labour shortage at the end of the First World War led to government and private sector support for women to work in agriculture. The Farm Service Corps or 'farmerettes' did everything men once did on Ontario farms.
  • What do you call a female farmer? FarmHER!
  • Just how many roles can women in agriculture take on? Read about how four women have made their own way in agriculture.

Women from across Canada will gather in Niagara Falls this fall to listen, learn, network and grow at the Advancing Women in Agriculture Conference.

Advancing Women in Agriculture Conference

Women in Agriculture Focus Group

Carolynne Griffith, Past Chair Egg Farmers of Ontario and Secretary & Partner, Art Griffith Farms Inc.
Tonya Haverkamp, Egg Farmer Listowel Ontario
Dianne McComb, Egg Farmer
Kristen Thompson-Dow, Beef farmer and Pullet Business Manager with New Life Mills.
Sally Van Straaten, Egg and Grain Producer