Photos and text exerpt by Audra Mulkern. Audra Mulkern is a cook, writer and photographer. Audra writes and photographs “The Female Farmer Project” – a chronicle of in-depth stories about the rise of women working in agriculture around the world. The Female Farmer Project has garnered national recognition, and has been featured in several magazines. Visit Audra’s website to learn more: audramulkern.com.
A few years ago I started to notice a shift at the farmers market. Every year in my community the farming interns are the ones assigned to farmers market duty on a rotating basis. As I did my shopping each week I started to realize that the interns behind the table were increasingly more frequently women. And then it was like someone flipped a switch and one year it was all women.
I started to ask the farmers if they were noticing this trend as well and they were, and in fact a few had received only female applicants. So I took this anecdotal evidence and began to seek out women who owned and operated farms to document the rise of women in farming.
It will be some time before women begin to close the gap in this male dominated industry but in the meantime there seems to be a general movement in the encouragement of the young agrarian. It is my hope that the Female Farmer Project will continue to inspire the next generation.