Changes on the Land: Gender and the Power of Alternative Social Networks

Angie Carter | 05.23.2017

The following is the second installment in our Cultivating Gender Justice Series, and is abridged from 2017’s forthcoming book Land Justice: Re-imagining Land, Food, and the Commons. 

Click here to download this issue brief, view in full below, or read the chapter in its entirety in Food First’s upcoming book Land Justice: Re-imagining Land, Food, and the Commons in the United States


 

I have to be kind of careful because my attitude is we don’t need to feed the world. We don’t need to feed the world! […]

-Rachel

Statistically, as a farm owner who is a woman, Rachel is in abundant company—women own or co-own about half of the farmland in the United States.1 Like many women farmland owners, Rachel does not farm her land, but instead leases out her farm to tenant-operators.

In the Midwest, research has found that women farmland owners often cede their power to men—their tenants, family, or co-owners—rather than actively managing the land themselves.2 In Iowa, women own or co-own 47 percent of Iowa’s farmland and 52 percent of its leased farmland.3 The increased concentration of farmland means there is increasing competition for it. Farmland ownership has long been a complicated arrangement, but these new trends in non-operator ownership mean that a landowner’s relationship with the tenant-operator is of increasing importance to understand for those interested in landscape-level changes.

Yet, through alternative social networks, some women are finding ways to put their power as landowners into practice.

Click here to download this issue brief, view in full below, or read the chapter in its entirety in Food First’s upcoming book Land Justice: Re-imagining Land, Food, and the Commons in the United States


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