One of the biggest changes to the face of agriculture and forestry these days in Chesapeake Bay states is women. That new demographic is leading some environmental groups and government agencies to launch new strategies for engaging female decision makers in projects that help water quality.
The unprecedented numbers tell part of the tale. Approximately 59% of farmland in Maryland is now owned or co-owned by women, or a woman makes decisions on the farm. Women hold those roles on 54% of farmland in Virginia; 55% in Pennsylvania, 53% in West Virginia and 60% in New York, according to the federal 2017 Census of Agriculture.
During the 5-year survey period, the number of male farmers declined by 1.7% nationwide while female ag producers leaped by 27%.[Continue Reading]