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Farmer Jane?

If you grew up like most Americans, the word farmer probably conjures an image of a man in overalls, maybe driving a tractor or standing by a trusty dog. Preschool songs and television taught you that men farm and women garden.

The evolution of the iconic farmer needs one more tweak to get us up to speed, says Temra Costa, author of Farmer Jane: Women Changing the Way We Eat (Gibbs Smith, 2010). The farmer needs to be a woman.

The last agricultural census showed women-owned farms have increased by 30 percent. Additionally, women are the founders and force behind much of today’s sustainable-food legislation and emerging businesses. “We know that women are there, very much involved in food, but for some reason those stories weren’t being told,” Costa says.

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