The role of women in production agriculture in a nine-county area of West Texas
Nichols, Leslie J. B.
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A national survey of farmwomen conducted in 1979 by Rachel Rosenfield found that the farmer's wife is considered by many an 'invisible farmer.' Twenty-one years later this would still seem to be an appropriate description for today's farmwoman. This dissertation is the first study of women involved in production agriculture in a nine-county area of West Texas. The number of women reported as being involved in farming and ranching enterprises seems to be a deceptive figure. In November 1995, for the area of Crosby, Floyd, Garza, Hale, Hockley, Lamb, Lubbock, Lynn, and Terry counties, the number of individuals considered to be actually 'farming' was 7,843 but only 825 of them were listed as female by the Farm Service Agency (FSA). The main questions posed are: do the FSA figures truly reflect that there are 7,000 single males farming in the study area? Really, are most married but their spouses simply are not counted nor considered as partners in the agricultural venture? What role, if any, do the women play? What are their experiences?