New Florence, Pennsylvania
Hattie Henderson is a farmer, farm-hand and student who has teamed with her cousin to create a successful farming operation
while changing the perceptions of women’s roles in agriculture and conventional
agriculture’s role in our food system.
With the goal to farm full-time and
expand into new crops and new sales locations over the next five years, the cousins’ new farm stand operation will include produce, eggs and
crafts from their farm. The farm is fully conventional, and customers are
invited to learn everything about how it’s operated to help them put
a face to their food.
“My goal is to create an innovative
and cutting-edge farm on my family’s property that I can use to promote and
educate,” says Hattie. “I want to show people that farmers are not just old men
in overalls on tractors, that conventional farming techniques are safe, and
that farmers are people who care about the food they produce.”
As twenty-year-old women who are the
primary operators of their farm, Hattie and her cousin challenge the
stereotypical image of farmers and of young women. They’re proud that they are
“young, college-educated women, possessing both beauty and brains, and doing a ‘man’s’
job.” Their belief is that this is a strong marketing approach not only for
their own operation, but for the agricultural industry as a whole.
“We hope that our venture will
inspire other young men and women to pursue their dreams, and to be successful
in the agriculture industry,” says Hattie. “I think the future of agriculture
is very promising, but there will also be a change in the faces of agriculture.
With an aging population of farmers, young people are coming into the industry,
and more women and minorities will be stepping up and farming.”
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