10 Inspiring Women Farmers You Should Know | CUESA

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March 02, 2018

10 Inspiring Women Farmers You Should Know

In honor of Women’s History Month, what better time to celebrate the millions of women who are so vital to our food system? Globally, women make up half of the agricultural workforce, and more than 700,000 women work in the fields in the United States. According to the latest Ag Census, women are 30 percent of farm operators, making them one of the fastest growing groups of farmers.

Though certainly not a comprehensive list, here are a few of the hardworking women farmers you can support here at CUESA’s farmers markets. (Be sure to also support these 20 innovative women-led food businesses at our markets, too!)

Janet Brown, Allstar Organics

Cofounder of Allstar Organics in Marin, Janet Brown has been farming organic vegetables and creating unique farm products for the last 20 years. She has also actively worked to support farmers, food access, and healthy communities in Marin County through her work as part of the Marin Food Policy Council, Marin Organic, and the Center for Ecoliteracy. Saturdays, Ferry Plaza Farmers Market.

Rachel, Casa Rosa Farms

First-generation farmer Rachel da Rosa and her husband founded Casa Rosa Farms in 2008 in Capay Valley, where they raise heritage cattle, sheep, pigs, duck, and chickens, and grow olives and fruit. Casa Rosa has also worked to strengthen connections with neighboring humane and pasture-based ranchers through cooperative partnerships. “There’s very little you can mechanize when you’re caring for animals; there’s no substitute for a human being,” she says. Sundays, Jack London Square Farmers Market.

Aomboon Deasy, K&J Orchards

The daughter of Kalayada Ammatya and James Beutel (K&J), Aomboon “Boonie” Deasy has carried on the family legacy in partnership with her husband, Tim, and been a driving force in marketing the farm and developing their strong following among Bay Area chefs. The diverse farm sells its tree-ripened fruits to more than 150 restaurants, such as Benu and the French Laundry. Saturdays and Tuesdays, Ferry Plaza Farmers Market. (Photo by Amanda Lynn Photography)

Moira Kuhn, Marin Roots Farm

Having previously worked at County Line Harvest, Moira Kuhn now farms at Marin Roots Farm in Petaluma with her husband, Jesse. She has helped build the farm’s restaurant clientele, while innovating and helping to develop the farm’s niche with specialty crops like edible flowers. Why does she love farming? “I love the challenge, and I love that farming is all-consuming. It’s your entire life.” Saturdays, Ferry Plaza Farmers Market.

Raquel Krach, Massa Organics

Originally trained as a tropical biologist, Raquel became drawn to sustainable agriculture and agroecology, which led her move with her husband, Greg, back to his family’s farm. They grow rice and almonds and raise pigs and sheep in a diverse ecosystem, applying their love ecology to make the farm more environmentally sustainable. Saturdays, Ferry Plaza Farmers Market. (Photo by Massa Organics)

Sandi and Sarah McGinnis, McGinnis Ranch

Aunt-and-niece team Sandi McGinnis-Garcia and Sara Evett took over Sandi’s father’s farm, ushering in a new era by transitioning to organic and experimenting with new crops and cut flowers. “Giving back to the land but also providing people with fresh food feels good at the end of the day,” says Sara. “I think a lot of people think that it would be a thankless job, but it is not at all. I couldn’t ask for more.” Saturdays and Tuesdays, Ferry Plaza Farmers Market. (Photo by McGinnis Ranch)

Ge Moua, Moua’s Farm

The child of subsistence farmers, Ge farms organically because she can’t imagine doing it any other way. Before her farm became a business operation, she planted and cultivated vegetables with her family in her small backyard. She began selling at farmers markets with the goal of college funds for her kids, and now runs a 17-acre farm in Sacramento, with a diverse array of organic vegetables. Thursdays, Ferry Plaza Farmers Market.

Mollie Sitkin, Old Dog Ranch

Fourth-generation farmer Mollie Sitkin has helped to continue and grow her family farm by introducing new crops and beehives, supporting and the farm’s organic transition, and developing Old Dog’s value-added product line of walnut snacks through direct sales at farmers markets. Saturdays, Ferry Plaza Farmers Market. (Photo by Amanda Lynn Photography)

Marsha Habib, Oya Organics

Marsha Habib started farming as a one-woman, one-acre operation to serve her community and create urban and rural connections. Oya Organics gradually grew to more acreage as her partner, Modesto, and other people joined the farm. They now run a fully diversified farm with about a dozen employees. “I don’t want us to get big and just keep growing and growing,” she says. “I want to be at a scale where I know every acre of the farm and have a personal relationship with the plants and employees.” Saturdays, Ferry Plaza Farmers Market. (Photo by Brenton Gieser)

Dede Bois, Root Down Farm

First-generation farmer Dede Bois started her own ranch in Pescadero to do her part in combatting the negative impacts of industrial animal agriculture. Today, Root Down Farm is a diverse, pasture-based farm that raises heritage chickens, turkeys, ducks, and pigs. “Even though my farm is just a teeny tiny drop of change, I am trying to do the best I can to raise animals in a way that is healthy for each creature, the land, and the bellies they feed,” says Dede. Saturdays, Ferry Plaza Farmers Market. (Photo by Federica Armstrong)

Raise a glass to women in food and drink at Women Movers & Shakers: Spring Cocktails of the Farmers Market on April 18.


CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) is dedicated to cultivating a sustainable food system through the operation of farmers markets and educational programs. Learn More »