Did you know that 43% of agriculture workers around the world are women? At 4Sisters Rice, we see it as our responsibility to help pave the way for our future generations of women farmers educated and encouraged to take on the challenges of taking care of the land and feeding the world’s growing population.
As a women and family-owned farm ourselves, we wanted to celebrate this Women’s Small Business Month with a list of other female-operated farms across the US that you should know about and support!
These women are not only redefining the landscape of agriculture but also breaking barriers, nurturing the land, and feeding the world. Their stories inspire and serve as a testament to the potential of women in agriculture across the world.
3 Farm Daughters - Grand Forks, North Dakota
Sisters, Annie, Mollie, and Grace, have combined their talents to manage their family farm in Grand Forks, North Dakota, cultivating 100% natural wheat to make their premium line of pastas. The sisters’ family has been farming for over 30 years in the Red River Valley and similar to the Kennedy Sisters, these sisters formed a passion for the farm life at a very young age.
Learn more about why these sisters are so passionate about bringing healthy, nutritious pasta to your pantry here.
Five Marys Farm - Fort Jones, California
Located in Fort Jones, Northern California, Five Marys Farm, is a family farm founded by Brian and Mary Heffernan, along with their four daughters, also named Mary. In their search for high-quality meats, raised ethically and packed with great flavor for the restaurants they ran, they couldn’t find anyone doing it at a large enough scale. So they did what any rancher at heart would do, they decided to pack their bags, sell their businesses in the city, and move out to the ranch life.
Today, they're dedicated to raising the highest-quality pasture-raised and barley-finished beef, lamb, and pork as naturally and humanely as possible, not to mention a variety of laying hens.
Explore their story here to learn more about their commitment to preserving the land while raising roam-free Black Angus cattle, Navajo-Churro sheep, and Berkshire hogs to bring you the finest meat to your table.
Stoney Hill Cattle Company - Charlestown, Rhode Island
Stoney Hill Cattle Company is a 175-acre beef cattle family farm now managed by sisters Kim Coulter and Nina Luchka. Kim and Nina are dedicated to continuing a family legacy after the passing of their father.
Eager to see the increase of locally grown food in Rhode Island, the sisters teamed up with 6 other local farms to create the Rhode Island Raised Livestock Association in 2005. The association helped local Rhode Island farmers sell their products directly to the public, restaurants, and public institutions.
By working with the USDA’s Environmental Quality Incentives Program, the sisters have been able to significantly transform their farming methods into more sustainable practices to preserve their land and water while raising healthy meat for families across Rhode Island.
To read more about Stoney Hill Cattle Company, visit their Facebook page.
Patchwork City Farms - Atlanta, Georgia
Patchwork City Farms is an independent urban farm located in Atlanta, Georgia paving the way for the Farm to Table, Slow Food, and Sustainable Agricultural movements in the Southeast US.
Patchwork City Farms is led by Jamila Norman, a first-generation Caribbean farmer with a keen eye for converting outdoor spaces into thriving, functional backyard farms. Jamila is one of the founding members and current manager of the South West Atlanta Growers Cooperative (SWAG Coop), a cooperative providing resources and education to black urban farmers in Atlanta’s urban agriculture movement. She is an active member of the Atlanta Farmers Coalition and is also part of the board of Georgia Organics, a member-supported, non-profit organization connecting organic food from Georgia farms to Georgia families.
The farm produces Certified Naturally Grown produce dedicated to sustainable agriculture. Her passion for helping people learn how to grow their own food by transforming their backyards into mini-farms has even been featured on the Magnolia Network on HBO Max. Jamila is a true southeast trailblazer in urban landscapes fostering food sovereignty and access to fresh, locally-grown produce. Learn more about Patchwork City Farms here.
*Photo credits 01 here
Refuge of Liberty Farm - Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia
Refuge of Liberty Farm is a picturesque 6-acre farmstead nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Rappahannock County, Virginia. At the heart of this thriving homestead is Amy Fewell, a multi-talented homesteader with a passion for sharing her farming knowledge with others. Amy created Homesteaders of America in 2016 as a community extension of the farm aimed at teaching others the art of homesteading and how to grow their own food.
Refuge of Liberty Farm sells an array of free-range products, including fresh eggs, whole chickens, chicken feet, and whole turkeys. They use sustainable and holistic farming practices to provide healthy and safe food to their community such as rotational grazing techniques, completely free-range chickens and turkeys, and no use of antibiotics or chemicals.
Apart from farming, Amy is an author, blogger, podcaster, teacher, and photographer passionate about homestead storytelling to encourage others into the homestead lifestyle or at least to buy more locally and naturally. To explore Amy and her husband’s homestead journey, visit their website here.
Century Farm - Southwest, Iowa
Former businesswoman turned farmer, Maggie McQuowan, is the current owner of her family farm Century Farm in Southwest Iowa growing soybean and corn. Maggie and her siblings are the 4th generation to grow up on the farm which was originally purchased by her great-grandparents in 1899.
As part of USDA’s Conservation Stewardship Program Maggie is committed to returning native prairie to the farm, improving soil health, water quality, and wildlife habitat.
She also started introducing cover crops into her cropping systems to reduce erosion. Maggie committed to planting them all throughout the row crop acres planting cereal rye going into soybeans and oats/tillage radishes going into corn. Since introducing cover crop planting, Maggie has seen a significant increase in organic matter and reduced erosion.
In 2020, Maggie was named the Iowa Conservation Woman of the Year by the NRCS Federal Women's Program Committee for her passion and dedication to learning how to best preserve their soils, produce quality food, and continue their farm’s tradition of being a small family farm with support from multiple Iowa conservation organizations. To learn more about Maggie and her family at Century Farm, go here.
The Next Women Farmers
In a world where women comprise nearly half of the agricultural workforce, these women-led farms are not only making a living from the land but are also forging a path for the next generation of women farmers.
Women in agriculture face unique challenges, from less access to resources and land to lower wages. However, these trailblazing women farmers prove that determination, innovation, and community can significantly help overcome these obstacles.
Their dedication to the land and commitment to ethical farming is not only inspiring but also essential for a more sustainable future in agriculture as we continue to play a vital role in feeding our ever-expanding global population
Celebrate Women’s Small Business Month with us by supporting and sharing these female-operated farms here in the US with your friends and family.
4Sisters Rice is now found in over 7,000 stores nationwide and continues to grow. With the rise of online grocery shopping after the pandemic, we’ve also launched our direct-to-consumer online store, where you can find all of our latest products.