She Grew Up on a Farm: Southeast Minnesota Farm Women Tell of their Work on the Farm, their Roles in Society and their Thoughts of the Future of Farming in the United States


The food supply and the environment as well as the livelihood of small-scale farmers are being exploited and liquidated in order for large-scale agri-industry to profit off all aspects of food production. Using a theoretical framework from ecofeminists Vandana Shiva and Maria Mies placing U.S. agriculture into a global economic configuration encompassing the history of the advancement of capitalism and unequal gender and race relations, this study collected and examined in-depth interviews with nine women who grew up on farms in the upper Midwest.

Through examining the discourse of the interviewees’ discussing their childhoods on farms, their experience of farming today, and where they feel farming is heading in the future one can conclude that great changes have taken place within U.S. agriculture over the past fifty-years and the changes will keep coming. In largest part, their voices support the existing literature stating that fewer and fewer people are on the land and that the government is encouraging the loss of small-scale farms at the same time the government is encouraging corporate control of farming. The interviewees’ voices also express a love of the land and appreciation of an agriculturally based life and livelihood along with a stalwart hope in the future of an environmentally sound, locally based, small-scale form of agriculture within the boarders of the United States of America.


Agricultural and Resource Economics | Rural Sociology | Women's Studies

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