Opening the Farm Gate to Women? Sustainable Agriculture in the United States
In a new working paper "Opening the Farm Gate to Women? Sustainable Agriculture in the United States," Mark Paul, postdoctoral associate with the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity, and Anders Fremstad, Assistant Professor of Economics at Colorado State University, analyze the relationship between the growth in the number of women farmers and the rise in sustainable agriculture using the US Census of Agriculture. While the role of women farmers in sustainable agriculture has been investigated before through qualitative studies, this is the first quantitative study that estimates the gender gap in conventional agriculture and compares it to the gender gap in sustainable agriculture. Fremstad and Paul find no evidence that DtC sales or organic farming reduce and gender gap in farm income, but estimate that CSA arrangements reduce the gender gap by about a third, providing the basis for their argument that CSA farms are opening the farm gate for women.