Feminine farmers, ranchers are a driving pressure in agriculture

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By Shelby Shank
Field Editor

Women like Angela Arthur and Giovana Benitez are paving their way in agriculture, leaving behind a legacy of determination, passion and grit.

They are part of the 36% of female farmers and ranchers in the U.S.

In the United States, women account for 36% of farmers and ranchers.

Arthur farms with her husband and their four children in Crosby County.

“It’s hard being in a man’s world. We’re a small percentage,” Arthur said. “I work alongside my husband on the farm, and there are certain things I can’t do because of my size. It is challenging, but I’m not afraid to ask others for help.”

She’s learned a lot about agriculture over the years from farming with her husband and from being active in Texas Farm Bureau (TFB). Arthur participated in the organization’s FarmLead program, a two-year leadership development program that takes participants across Texas, the country and the world. She also serves on TFB’s Horse Advisory Committee.

Arthur didn’t grow up in agriculture but married a fifth-generation farmer over 30 years ago. She embraced the agricultural lifestyle, bringing their kids alongside her to the farm.

“I see a lot more women being involved in the farm operation,” Arthur said. “The younger generation isn’t afraid to get out there and get their hands dirty. I think we’re seeing a shift in more women being involved on the farm.”

That’s true for Benitez.

She is a first-generation rancher in Hidalgo County raising beef cattle and serves on TFB’s Young Farmer & Rancher Advisory Committee.

At only six years old, Benitez’s mother passed away. It was her mother’s dream to have her own cattle operation.

Benitez’s father purchased a farm when she was nine years old. They grew watermelons and grain sorghum, but they decided to diversify their operation and raise cattle. She spent many afternoons after school operating equipment and helping her father.

“Being involved in agriculture not only helps me follow my dreams, but carry on the dreams my mother had,” Benitez said. “It is an honor to represent the industry and empower other women.”

Benitez went into business with her father when she was 18 years old and continues to raise cattle today. She manages a cow-calf operation and runs a stocker operation with cattle sourced from local ranchers and sale barns.

Arthur and Benitez both agreed it takes grit and determination to be a woman in agriculture.

And they wear a lot of hats.

From leaders in their communities to serving their churches and advocating for agriculture, women in Texas agriculture are always willing to lend a helping hand.



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