It's a good question and one that many in the rural lifestyle market and agriculture struggle with.
Traditionally farm and acreage decisions have been made by the male member of the household. Women were often asked to take care of the children, the house and maybe the chickens. At least it was that way in our family and, if we're honest, it was the same in many others.
Today there is a major gender shift going on "out there" and sadly many marketers for traditional agricultural products and services are missing the boat.
The most recent numbers available is the 2002 USDA Census of Agriculture. (We're in the middle of gathering new census data now.) Between 1997 and 2002 the number of female farmers rose by 13% or one of every ten farms in the United States were run by women. We expect the data for the new census to exceed that increase for a number of reasons including passing farming operations to survivors, the growth in organic and natural products and the huge increase in the number of small farms and acreages that are active in actual production agriculture.
While this is going on, the traditional infrastructure continues to be male dominated from feed stores to agricultural equipment dealers.
That fact alone causes a problem in perception as to HOW to market goods and services to the ever increasing number of female farmers. A couple of things to consider:
- Know your target market and its demographics;
- Include female models in print advertising pieces;
- Be attentive to color designs;
- Depending on the product or service look at alternative media;
- Don't be afraid.
For many agricultural manufacturers this issue is not even on the radar screen.
So, what are you doing to attract female farm operators? Do you know your demographic? Or is this way off base?
If you need some answers...give us a call.