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The number of women running farms is growing. At least, photographer Audra Mulkern is darn sure that’s true, even if the US Census data is murky on the subject. In 2013, she created The Female Farmer Project to document the increasing number of women she saw operating agricultural business in her community in Washington. Since then, she’s shot close to 50 portraits, from Iceland to the Bronx, many of first-generation farmers working on their second careers. As she told the Seattle Times last spring, “I’m trying to disrupt the face of farming — while they disrupt farming.”

1 ELIZABETH CLORE

 Bushy Tail Farm, Saxapahaw, NC

Elizabeth is a former research biologist from Boston. When her definitions of success did not map with the available careers in science, she began to research how to create a sustainable agriculture business on her family’s 200-year-old farmstead in North Carolina that had sat untouched for decades. Now she grows a variety of vegetables, raises chickens for eggs, and says this is the first job she’s ever had that she can’t stop thinking about.

 

2 MICHAELE BLAKELY

Growing Things Farm, Carnation, WA

This former schoolteacher owns and operates a small polyculture farm producing fruits, vegetables, pastured pork, goats’ milk soap, and more.

3 SUZANNE NELSON

Haw River Ranch, Saxapahaw, NC

Suzanne is a former Capitol Hill journalist who approaches each day on her grass-fed meat and dairy farm with the same careful thought, passion, and energy she used to bring to her writing.

 

4 CHRISTINA MILLER

 Greenbow Farm, Ellensburg, WA

Christina started her career in the arts, but she now farms grass-fed meats and creates yarn and sheepskin rugs from the fleece of her sheep. She still draws on her art degree by visually communicating to her customers why she farms.

Rachel Zurer

Rachel is Conscious Company’s resident words wrangler, in charge of all editorial content. Before joining the CCM in April 2016, Rachel spent nearly 5 years as a print and digital editor on the award-winning team at BACKPACKER magazine. Her freelance writing and radio reporting has appeared in a variety of national publications, including Issues in Science & Technology, Yoga Journal, Paste Magazine, Pacifica Radio, and Wired, where she was a fellow in 2011. She holds an MFA in Creative Nonfiction writing from Goucher College, studied linguistics and computer science at Duke University, and is a certified yoga teacher.