10 Powerful Quotes From Women in Agriculture

There are many women who inspire us in agriculture and food, though there are still not enough! They are entrepreneurs, stewards of the land, business owners, researchers, farmers, and innovators who are the backbone of the world’s food systems.

While women continue to push forward in the Agricultural fields and they're slowly becoming a bigger part of the industry, they still only constitute 15–20% of landholders in sub-Saharan Africa.

The following quotes celebrate the women who inspired revolutions in both their industries with groundbreaking discoveries and in society with unshakeable pride in being women who love the land. These powerful women never backed down from pursuing their passions, and those enduring legacies continue to move other women into the agricultural sector.

“Women are the priority. The majority of smallholder farmers in Africa are women and, in urban areas, you’re primarily looking at women-led households. So we can’t solve hunger if we don’t have gender-sensitive programming that addresses access to opportunities for women, whether it’s through education or tools for cooking, like solar-powered stoves.” - Ertharin Cousin, executive director of the U.N. World Food Programme.

“Education, if it means anything, should not take people away from the land, but instill in them even more respect for it, because educated people are in a position to understand what is being lost. The future of the planet concerns all of us, and all of us should do what we can to protect it. As I told the foresters, and the women, you don't need a diploma to plant a tree.” ― Wangari Maathai, Unbowed

“Women are the backbone of most developing countries and it is beneficial to a country’s economy to empower women in agriculture. Financial institutions are very important to this movement. They can create special programs that will encourage existing female farmers and target potential female farmers to invest in the agriculture sector.” - Shelly-Ann Dinnall, a third-generation poultry farmer in Jamaica.

 “Women have this ability to multi-task and to be mindful not just of ourselves, but of the greater good. And I do think the female voices that have contributed have changed the way we do things. They’ve shown that it’s ok to take a moment to think about things a bit more before carrying on.” - Suniti Mujumdar, Educational Engagement Manager 

“ I think there are opportunities everywhere. Women have the skills that modern farming needs; we are natural multi-taskers, good communicators, and used to hard work. The sensibility, determination, resourcefulness, the creativity of women are essential ingredients in agriculture. More women need to be involved steering the direction of the industry.” - Maria Agovino Technical Sales Manager 

“Being a farmer, you have to be everything. You have to be able to be the marketing manager, the distribution manager, the accountant, the bookkeeper, and the mechanic. You have so many hats to wear?” It is very challenging, and it also uses your whole self. You have to make decisions all of the time that involve ecological concepts and financial concepts and mechanical concepts and integrate all of it. You have to use your whole creativity and your whole body and your whole self and your whole energy.” - Carolyn E. Sachs is an associate professor of rural sociology and women's studies at Pennsylvania State University.

“Regardless of what my daughter chooses as a career path, I will be immensely proud of her. My only hope is that she remembers her roots. I pray and hope she remembers the values and responsibilities of growing up on the farm. I pray that she learns what we teach her about life and that she can help influence those around her that may not understand agriculture. The best way that we can encourage our children is by setting a good example.” - Aubrey Fletcher, dairy farmer

“I would say follow your passions, speak up, don’t be afraid to speak your mind and point things out when you have something to share. Set goals for yourself and do whatever you need to do to reach those goals. We’re in a male-driven field and it doesn’t have to be that way. We’ve got to break that glass ceiling. We have to do it by being ourselves, and being strong and passionate in what we believe in.” Sandra “Sandy” Watts, Deputy Regional Forester, USDA Forest Service Region 3 

“You have to have your heart in it. And if you want to do it on your own, do it. Because there are going to be a ton of women standing behind you, pushing you, encouraging you. There's still a cement ceiling that really irritates me. If you do want to go into partnership with someone, make sure they're a partner who sees you as an equal, and that you can build on each other.” - Megghan Honke Seidel, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and Michigan State University Extension

“The most important thing that we can tell all girls and women interested in fields that at present are dominated by men (e.g., agriculture and science) is to not be intimated and never think that they cannot push through every barrier. Yes, it will be harder than if one is a white male, but it is not impossible. Hold onto your dreams and go for it!” - Kellye Eversole is President of Eversole Associates