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Iowa ag secretary applauds census change to count more female farmers

The 2017 Census of Agriculture showed a sharp increase in the number of female farmers and ranchers, up 27 percent from 2012.

USDA says some of that increase can be attributed to a change in the census questionnaire, which allowed farms to report multiple primary producers, many of which were women.

Iowa ag secretary Mike Naig says it was a positive change.

“I think it’s a more accurate measurement of how our operations actually work and who the decision-makers are. That was good move on the part of the census to make that adjustment, so we can get a much more realistic look at what happens,” Naig says.

The number of female farmers and ranchers in Iowa increased 33 percent from the 2012 ag census.

Nationally, the census showed 36 percent of all farmers and ranchers are female and 56 percent of all farms have at least one female decision-maker.

AUDIO: Mike Naig

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