Even though 30% of farmers in the US (pdf) are women, depictions of American farm life are still primarily of men. With FarmHer, a photograph collection documenting women in the field, Marji Guyler-Alaniz is trying to change that.
“Women always have been and always will be an important part of agriculture,” she told Quartz. But, she says, many female farmers struggle to be taken seriously or to find resources. And their numbers, according to census data from the US Department of Agriculture, are falling. In 2012, there were 2% fewer female farmers than in 2007. Plus, while 14% of the country’s 2.1 million farms had women as principal operators, that accounted for only 6.9% of American farmland, and sales by women made up only 3.3% of total US agricultural sales.
Though Guyler-Alaniz herself isn’t a farmer, her grandparents were. After leaving a career in agricultural insurance, she decided she wanted to make sure young women could see themselves in farming. “By showing women who are successfully farming or ranching through images,” she told Quartz, “I think it plants that seed in that younger generation. Younger girls who are interested in getting into agriculture or carrying on a family tradition of agriculture, it shows them they can do it.”