Term of Award

Fall 2022

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Social Sciences (M.A.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Sociology and Anthropology

Committee Chair

April Schueths

Committee Member 1

Marieke Van Willigen

Committee Member 2

Clare Walsh


Women currently make up 36% of the workforce in the agriculture industry and are actively growing in number (National Agricultural Statistics Service, 2017). Historically, women’s roles in the agriculture industry were silent or ignored, which has had consequences for women, such as poorer quality of life (Meares, 1997). Today, women are becoming more and more involved in the agriculture industry, but still face inequality in the workplace due to their gender. This research aims to understand the day-to-day experiences and impact of gender for women who work in the production agriculture industry; and by doing so, expand Feminist Theory to include the concept of Rural Feminism. The concept that I call Rural Feminism is a branch of feminism that places an emphasis on the differences between men and women, while also acknowledging the power of being a woman, and is influenced by religion, southern traditions, and what it means to be a woman farmer. The purpose of this research is to explore how women farmers in the Southeastern United States describe their participation based upon gender in the production agriculture industry. Data is collected through in-depth interviews with twelve women farmers in the agriculture industry. Thematic analysis is used to describe how women in agriculture view themselves and their experiences. Key findings include the following five subthemes (1) a woman’s touch, (2) Christianity: “Lord’ll provide, no matter what” (3) sugar britches and old school traditions, (4) a few bad eggs and the strawberry patch, and (5) a bright future for women in agriculture, which all come together to uniquely inform Rural Feminism.

Research Data and Supplementary Material


Consent Form.pdf (141 kB)