Hear from inspirational women forging change on the land
Women are forging change across every industry, with women on the land being no exception. And with the pandemic inspiring country living – female farmers and rural influencers are having a moment.
Yet, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, women perform around 50% of the farming activities, despite having less access to resources and technical inputs. “They are the ones who are making the farming move. They are the defacto custodians of local culture, diversity and cuisine. They are the ones pioneering family farming which is primarily responsive to household needs – be it food, nutrition and income.”
So, who are these strong, empowering females working hard to #BreakTheBias in farming, and where can you go to learn more about them and interact?
It seems that, over past years the Internet has become a critical medium for farm businesses to connect with customers and other farmers, with social media platforms such as Instagram being particularly utilized as a user-friendly way to reach consumers.
Social media itself is certainly providing a highly visible platform for women who are focused on agriculture and connecting with the land. Therefore, we've compiled a list of some of the most interesting female-led Instagram accounts featuring women forging change. So check out these social media savvy agricultural women to learn more about life on the land.
Farmer Melony @melbelle206
Farmer Melony says she is 'reclaiming farming on my own terms' and grows collard. Catch Melony in the Black Farmers and the Way Forward podcast where she discusses farming joy, reparations, and how to incentivize sustainable practices.
Grace Macleod at @gmac90
Grace Macleod inspires women in agriculture through stunning imagery of her everyday life. From tractors under starlit skies to idyllic campfires – Grace’s feed is an arty snapshot of her life on the land. Grace also features on the Humans of Agriculture podcast in a conversation called You'll always be a farmer but you're not the farm. The episode covers Grace’s story from a young loving farm kid to an extraordinary woman. Grace has been through quite the transition as her family has undertaken the complicated process of succession.
"Do not be a collection of your bad days. Let them pass, let them run their course and know that they’re just a part of life. Not a part of you. Be a collection of your good days, your good moments, good people, good laughs. So when you have bad days, you have a whole reserve tank of the good stuff to get you through. Be kind to yourself. Always," says Grace.
Emme Williams at @eemmewilliams
Based in Bendick Murrell in New South Wales, Australia Emmee Williams shares her journey as a Veterinary Science Student and keen photographer. Promoting women in agriculture, Emmee also has a second account @willawari and her images clearly support the idea that farming is not solely for men.
If a dose of reality is what you’re after, Camille’s account is for you. Sharing a snapshot of her life with her family and animals, Camille advocates for women in agriculture and is a member of the Young Live Exporters Network. Her Instagram account showcases the reality of living in a rurally isolated outpost of Kimberley, Western Australia, and the challenges – such as feminine hygiene and mental health – that come with it.
Emma Jackel at @ladiesfromthelandaus
The clue is in the name with this one, with the Ladies From The Land Australia Instagram account raising awareness of remote women in Australia. Emma Jackel runs the account, and seeks to uplift, support and encourage women in agriculture living in rural areas, in the hope of inspiring other women looking for the same lifestyle.
Edwina Robertson @edwinarobertson
Born in Northern New South Wales in Australia, Edwina Robertson is an entrepreneur and business owner advocating for female business owners and promoting women in agriculture. She calls herself Queen Of The Dust and hosts a beautiful feed of her fabulous fashion line designed in rural Australia, her photography and words of empowerment. It’s one not to miss.
Laura Hodgkins at @girlaboutthefarm
Laura Hodgkins is based in Sussex, UK. Laura regularly updates her 13.5K followers about her life on the land, and having left a marketing job in London for full-time farming, she’s swapped city life for long baths and 9pm bed times. “The countryside has become cool,” Laura tells Marie Claire. “Which is weird to me, because city living has always been more aspirational.”
Zoë Colville at @thechiefshepherdess
Also located in the UK, Zoë Colville lives in Kent, UK and works on her husband’s farm. Zoë saw her Instagram following take off during the pandemic-enforced lockdowns. “People had time to enjoy nature and realised that a simpler life is more pleasurable than the rat race, while those stuck in cities wanted what they couldn’t have,” explains Zoë. “Animals are incredibly healing.”
Hannah Jackson at @redshepherdess
Hannah Jackson lives in Cumbria, UK and is a self-confessed townie turned Shepherdess. With over 75.2K followers on her Instagram account, Hannah is a strong champion for women farmers and eager to break down the notion farming is only for men. “Women cover all bases on a farm, whether that’s the labour outdoors, taking care of the business side or running the home,” she tells Marie Claire. “Women have always been farmers, but thanks to social media they are speaking up about it. Someone called me a farmer’s wife the other day and I was livid. You never hear anybody talk about farmer’s husbands.”
Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company at @pointreyescheese
Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company is run by sisters, Jill Giacomini Basch, Lynn Giacomini Stray, and Diana Giacomini Hagan. With the women’s father Bob having begun milking cows in Point Reyes in 1959, the family has since developed the vision of bringing value-added farmstead cheeses from their ranch to the table. The company was founded in 2000, and prides itself on being women-owned, with women team members, and achieving an official Women-Owned Small Business certification from The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council. The Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company Instagram account is a dedicated to empowering female artisans, and showcasing delicious cheeses of course.
Lynn Cassells and Sandra Baer at @lynbreck_croft
Lynn Cassells and Sandra Baer featured on the UK television show, This Farming Life, and run a farm in the atmospheric Cairngorms National Park in the Scottish Highlands. Lynn and Sandra have continued to document their journey on Instagram, showcasing what It's like to be self-confessed soil builders and tree planters. The women have a book available, called Our Wild Farming Life.
Are you a female farmer and feel inspired to share your experience?
Let us know about your social media account and how you're working to #BreakTheBias for women in farming?
PARTNER CONTENT: Developed in collaboration to support IWD's Women Forging Change Mission.