The 2002 Census of Agriculture indicated a 13.4 percent increase in the number of farms operated by women since 1997. A total of 237,819 farms were reported as having a woman as the principal operator in 2002.

Women operated 59,383,557 acres of land in 2002, an increase of 16.5 percent from 1997. In addition, 84 percent of the women principal operators were full owners of the farms they operated. Nearly all women principal operators, 95.4 percent, own at least part of the land they operated. In 2002, women rented or leased 2,137 fewer farms and 83,910 less acres of land than in 1997.

"The 2002 Census of Agriculture shows the growing interest and participation of women in U.S. agricultural production," commented Ron Bosecker, Administrator of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). "Census of Agriculture results show the contribution of women farmers and ranchers to the agricultural industry and interesting facts about the types of commodities they produce."

Source: Government Release