Sherri Dugger knows how hard it is to grow food, to market food . . . to be a farmer.
The former journalist—now an Indiana farmer, the executive director of both the Women, Food & Ag Network and Indiana Farmers Union and also co-chair of the national coalition of U.S. Farmers & Ranchers for a Green New Deal—also knows about the catastrophic impact of industrial factory farming on the environment on human health.
Dugger was asked to speak last week at the Farmers, Soil and Climate 2020 Presidential Forum in Iowa. In remarks she prepared (but couldn’t deliver in person, due to illness), Dugger asked the presidential candidates: Where are the women? At your discussion tables? On your leadership teams? Who are the women helping you make decisions today?
Valid questions, considering that women cultivate more than 300 million acres and contribute $13 billion to the national economy. Dugger wrote:
“Women farmers and farmworkers produce and process more than half the world’s food. Women own or co-own one-third of the agricultural land in the U.S. Fifty-two percent of restaurant workers are women. Thirty-six percent of farmers are women. Women are leading efforts to transform our food system into one that is healthy, regenerative and just.”
“We are leaders,” Dugger writes. “And we are ready to be heard.”