Agroecology and Women-Run Farms: A case study of women farmers in the United States

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Women’s farm labor has always been an integral part of agriculture in the United States. How that labor has been understood and documented has changed over time. Today, women are on record as the primary decision-makers of more farms than ever before. This shift in leadership may have implications for natural resource management, agriculture, and food systems. Experts at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations recognize the vulnerabilities of globalized food systems in the face of climate change and call for nations to transition to agroecology. The FAO has identified women as important leaders of agroecology projects worldwide due to their roles in families and communities. This research is an exploratory mixed-methods case study that collected and analyzed data from a total of 88 participants in the United States using a web-based survey and semi-structured interviews. The findings show that the women farmers who participated in the study realize benefits around food security, nutrition, healthy ecosystems, and social cohesion for their local communities, and their practices and approaches align with the FAO’s ten elements of agroecology.





Gomori-Ruben, Lianna (2021). Agroecology and Women-Run Farms: A case study of women farmers in the United States. Master's project, Duke University. Retrieved from

Dukes student scholarship is made available to the public using a Creative Commons Attribution / Non-commercial / No derivative (CC-BY-NC-ND) license.