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"Getting dirty, making something, and taking care of yourself": Women and sustainable farming in Idaho

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Abstract:

Despite an overall decrease in new farm operations, the number of women farm operators grew 30% between 2002 and 2007, with 300% growth since 1978. Using in-depth interviews with women engaged in sustainable farming in the Rocky Mountain West, this paper examines how these women accessed farmland. Our findings suggest three distinct methods for accessing farmland: 1) access through the traditional means of marrying a male farmer and then carving out space for one’s self as a farmer; 2) access later in life (average age 43) after a life-altering event like divorce and using personal financial means, such as retirement income or selling appreciated property; 3) access at a young age (average age 27) through prudent financially planning and the pooling of marital resources with a husband who works off the farm. Our research suggests that these different methods of land access should not be presumed a progressive narrative of greater access to land for all women. Specifically, we find that these women are all white and largely well educated. Furthermore, the youngest women in the study, who are also newest to farming, are the most likely to have a husband who works off the farm to support the operation. Moreover the women are attempting to balance the demands mothering infants and farm work. Thus, we conclude that they may be vulnerable to economic losses if the farm or marriage fails because off the farm their care work and farm labor are not particularly valuable within the economic market.
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Association:
Name: Pacific Sociological Association Annual Meeting
URL:
http://www.pacificsoc.org


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p707699_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Pilgeram, Ryanne. and Amos, Bryan. ""Getting dirty, making something, and taking care of yourself": Women and sustainable farming in Idaho" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Pacific Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Marriott Downtown Waterfront, Portland, Oregon, Mar 27, 2014 <Not Available>. 2014-12-10 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p707699_index.html>

APA Citation:

Pilgeram, R. and Amos, B. , 2014-03-27 ""Getting dirty, making something, and taking care of yourself": Women and sustainable farming in Idaho" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Pacific Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Marriott Downtown Waterfront, Portland, Oregon <Not Available>. 2014-12-10 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p707699_index.html

Publication Type: Formal research paper presentation
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Despite an overall decrease in new farm operations, the number of women farm operators grew 30% between 2002 and 2007, with 300% growth since 1978. Using in-depth interviews with women engaged in sustainable farming in the Rocky Mountain West, this paper examines how these women accessed farmland. Our findings suggest three distinct methods for accessing farmland: 1) access through the traditional means of marrying a male farmer and then carving out space for one’s self as a farmer; 2) access later in life (average age 43) after a life-altering event like divorce and using personal financial means, such as retirement income or selling appreciated property; 3) access at a young age (average age 27) through prudent financially planning and the pooling of marital resources with a husband who works off the farm. Our research suggests that these different methods of land access should not be presumed a progressive narrative of greater access to land for all women. Specifically, we find that these women are all white and largely well educated. Furthermore, the youngest women in the study, who are also newest to farming, are the most likely to have a husband who works off the farm to support the operation. Moreover the women are attempting to balance the demands mothering infants and farm work. Thus, we conclude that they may be vulnerable to economic losses if the farm or marriage fails because off the farm their care work and farm labor are not particularly valuable within the economic market.


Similar Titles:
Making care work matter: Victim advocates’ responses to the devaluation of women’s care work

Taking Care of Business: The Relationship Between Self-care and Homecare Dependency Among Elderly Black Women


 
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