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The Future of Scholarships and Grants for Female Farmers

Woman farming

It’s no secret that a gender gap exists when it comes to funding projects and programs by women. While this inequality can be found in all sectors, the agriculture and farming division is severely lacking. The farming industry has been male-dominated for many years, and it’s no surprise that female farmers often get left behind.
The USDA recognizes women within agriculture, and it established a mentoring network to help female leaders in the field connect with one another. So, if they’re able to recognize that women are paving the way for a better future within agriculture, then why are they not prioritizing them to receive funding? This is what leaders like Tammy Gray-Steele are wondering, and it’s what has encouraged them to start taking matters into their own hands.

Female leaders within the industry are calling for funding reform with the hope that grants for female farmers will no longer be considered an anomaly. While financial assistance opportunities do exist, women like Tammy (with over a decade of farming experience and multiple degrees) still have an incredibly difficult time landing a traditional federal grant. Sources like colleges and universities, Farm Aid, and federal farm bill programs that are open to all types of farmers seldom choose women.

Thankfully, if you look hard enough, there are scholarships available for women pursing an education in agriculture throughout the United States. When searching for these, be aware that many require you reside in specific locations. Below is one source that’s open to all women regardless of where they live. We highly recommend checking it out.

American-Agri Women (AAW)

The AAW offers three scholarships for young women in agriculture. The AAW Helen Whitmore Memorial Convention Scholarship, AAW Gail McPherson Fly-In Scholarship, and the Daughters of American Agriculture Scholarships were all created to honor the memory of strong female farmers who have helped pave the wave for future generations. For more details and access to the applications, take a look at their website.