March 2020: teen-2-teen
Women are ag leaders, too
by Laura Muggli
Agriculture is one industry that has accepted women as critical for the future. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 14 percent of people who operate their own farms are women, and 30 percent of all farm workers are women. Almost 1 million women work on farms in the United States. Women have been essential in ag history and will be essential in agriculture’s future.
2019 marked the celebration of 50 years of women in the FFA. This is an exciting landmark for this well-known organization. There were 41 years of FFA history before girls were officially allowed to join. One of the best-known women in FFA history is Jan Eberly, who was the first female to lead FFA as the national president in 1982. I, and many other girls, look up to the leadership and passion for agriculture shared by Eberly.
As an FFA member, I strive to build my knowledge for agriculture, and I want to be a better leader in my chapter. Today, girls hold 50 percent of state offices and almost half of members are young women. Many women have paved the way for us to be successful in FFA and the agricultural industry.
While many women work on farms and ranches, women also hold many leadership roles in North Dakota agriculture. One example of an outstanding female agricultural leader is Sarah (Gustin) Heinrich. Sarah grew up on a farm near Mandan, where she participated in FFA and 4-H. She currently is the leader of farm broadcasting for KFGO. She continues to work on a ranch with her husband, and she continues to support the FFA. She is one woman making an impact in agriculture in North Dakota.
In the past 50 years, women have become agricultural writers, scientists and heads of agricultural companies. Today, agriculture education, FFA and 4-H are important ways for young women to become more involved in agriculture.
I encourage all teens to be involved in an agricultural class or organization. Maybe you will become an essential person in the agriculture industry!