Become a fan on Facebook Follow us on Twitter USDA Blog Feed Watch USDA videos on YouTube Subscribe to receive e-mail updates View USDA Photos on Flickr Subscribe to RSS Feeds

Study: Undergraduate Women Outnumber Men in Land-Grant Ag Programs

Virginia Tech student Stefanie Pagano weighs a mouse as part of a research study on work level and food taste. Photo courtesy of Jim Stroup.

This post is part of the Science Tuesday feature series on the USDA blog. Check back each week as we showcase stories and news from the USDA’s rich science and research portfolio.

A national study of 70 land-grant universities found that undergraduate women enrolled in agriculture programs outnumber undergraduate men by more than 2,900 students. This study, conducted by the Food and Agricultural Education Information System, explored trends in the gender of undergraduate students enrolled in 14 agriculture academic areas at land-grant institutions from 2004 to 2011.

The rise in undergraduate women in agriculture academic areas is a relatively recent phenomenon. In 2004, undergraduate men outnumbered undergraduate women by more than 1,400 students. By 2008, the number of undergraduate women and undergraduate men enrolled in agriculture academic areas were roughly equivalent.

In 2009, undergraduate women outpaced undergraduate men by 249 students. This trend continued for 2010 and 2011 with enrollment numbers for undergraduate women increasing each year. In 2011, the undergraduate women enrolled in agriculture academic areas exceeded the number of undergraduate men enrolled by more than 2,900 students.

This trend corresponds with an overall rise in women farm operators.  According to the 2007 Census of Agriculture, the number of women farm operators increased nationally by 19 percent – to 1,008,943 – between 2002 and 2007.

One Response to “Study: Undergraduate Women Outnumber Men in Land-Grant Ag Programs”

  1. Julia Shuck says:

    Is there a correlation between increased numbers of women in ag programs and an increased enrollment of women in college in general?

Leave a Reply