In today’s Almond Matters, brought to you by Valent, the number of women in agriculture continues to grow both in number as well as the diversity of positions held within the industry.
“It’s an interesting time that we live in, in agriculture today,” said Jenny Holtermann, a long-time family farmer of almonds and agricultural advocate. “There is such a new rise of women in leadership roles within companies, or within their own family farm.”
Holtermann grew up farming almonds with her father and uncle while also participating in several agricultural programs that help to develop leadership characteristics in the next generation of California farmers. She commented on the growing diversity in the younger generation of agriculturalists will become even more apparent in coming years. “Within Young Farmers and Ranchers, there’s a lot more women that are taking those leadership roles and going up within those ladders,” said Holtermann.
The longstanding stereotype held by consumers of a farmer being an older man in a cowboy hat driving his tractor is being replaced by a much more diverse reflection of what the industry is comprised of. The demographics of the California agriculture industry have experienced significant change over the past 20 years. “That’s how farming used to be and that is definitely how people envision it because that’s how it was for so long…but I think women in agriculture have kind of evolved with the farm as well,” Holtermann said.
One of the areas in which women in agriculture have significantly flourished in recent years is in the capacity of advocating on behalf of the agricultural industry. Holtermann herself operates a blog under the name ‘Almond Girl Jenny,’ where she tells the story of California agriculture. “I kind of think that there’s more women in advocating and more women taking those leadership roles than men nowadays,” Holtermann noted.
Listen to Holtermann’s interview below.