This past spring, the US Department of Agriculture released results from the 2017 Farm Census, which is taken every five years. For the first time, the survey allowed farming families to list more than one “principal” farmer. Couples who own farms no longer must designate one person—usually a husband—as the principal farmer. As a result, women as a percent of farmers has risen by 26% nationwide and by 36% in New Jersey. Some of this increase may be real—more women involved in farming than in 2012. But most of it is surely due to the methodology change, which finally gives women credit for their work in agriculture.
You can support and celebrate these innovative, hard working, resilient women by visiting their Central New Jersey farms, farm markets, farm stands or dining in farm-to-table restaurants or farm-to-fork events where their foods are sourced.
Anna Reinalda, Dairy Manager at Cherry Grove Farm, focuses on the farm’s cows, milking and working with the animals. Farm visitors can hang out with the dairy herd in the milking parlor and creamery, where they can watch the cheese makers in action. Shop in the farm store, sample cheeses, and learn about locally-sourced and artisan-made products, from honey to mustard, chutney to cheeseboards. They have a picnic area, vegetable and flower gardens, and animals wandering about doing what they do best – cows grazing, calves gamboling, cats lazing in the sun, or goats trying to eat your sweater. The farm offers tours, group and private cheese classes, and space for team building events.
Check out the rest of the Central New Jersey women who tirelessly work to put food on our table. Download the NEW agritourism map over at DiscoverCentralNJ.com and start planning your farm escape! And if you’re car-less, many of these farms are just a quick cab ride away from the nearest bus or train stop via NJ Transit or Transbridge Bus (New Brunswick, Frenchtown, Somerville, Princeton) with service from NYC.