The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Sen. Joni Ernst led Senate effort to name March 21 “National Women in Ag Day”

A bipartisan resolution cosponsored by every woman in the Senate set an official day to recognize women in agriculture.
Ethan McLaughlin
Grow Johnson County Farm Manager Dusty Sanor stands next to her crops before an interview on Wednesday, March 20, 2024.

In a deeply divided Congress Tuesday, U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, spearheaded a resolution to designate March 21 as “National Women in Agriculture Day.”

The resolution passed the Senate unanimously — cosponsored by every woman in the Senate — during Women’s History Month and National Agriculture Week to recognize the role of women in agriculture operations and industry.

Led by Ernst, who grew up on a family farm and serves on the Senate Agriculture Committee, Women in Agriculture Day has been unanimously adopted by the Senate since 2022.

“Women are encouraging the future of agriculture from the farm to the classroom,” Ernst said in a statement to the DI. “They are experts in their fields — leading farm operations, engaging in research, advocating for producers, and more. During National Agriculture Week, I’m honored that my resolution to celebrate women in agriculture passed the Senate unanimously. I will continue working to inspire new generations to engage in our state’s most critical industry.”

The resolution encouraged all citizens to recognize and praise the “significant positive impact” women have on the food resources and agriculture workforce of the U.S. by “encouraging and empowering” women to enter the agricultural field.

More than 1.2 million female agriculture producers accounted for more than one-third of all agricultural producers in the U.S. in 2022, according to a USDA news release. According to the same news release, 58 percent of all American farms had at least one female decision-maker.

The 2022 Census of Agriculture also revealed that there were 50,263 female producers in Iowa. The number is a jump from the previous census in 2017, in which Iowa had 49,065 female producers.

“The United States recognizes that women are vital in fostering the next generation of the agricultural workforce,” the resolution stated.

The Senate’s resolution stated that farms operated by women sold $222 billion in agriculture products, adding up to 36 percent of the total agriculture sales in 2022.

“The United States proudly recognizes agriculture as one of the most impactful industries of the United States and acknowledges the countless women who help agriculture prosper both in the United States and abroad,” the resolution stated.

On Tuesday, Ernst called on President Joe Biden and his administration to increase agriculture exports. Ernst and several of her colleagues wrote a letter urging the U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai and U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to boost U.S. agricultural exports and ramp up the competitiveness of U.S. products abroad.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Roxy Ekberg
Roxy Ekberg, Politics Reporter
Roxy Ekberg is a first year at the University of Iowa. In the Honors Program, she is double majoring in journalism and political science with a minor in Spanish. Prior to her role as a politics reporter, she worked news reporter at the Daily Iowan and worked at her local newspaper The Wakefield Republican.