A portrait of Canada's female farm operators

Release date: November 23, 2022
Infographic: A portrait of Canada's female farm operators
Description: A portrait of Canada's female farm operators

According to the Census of Agriculture, there were 79,795 female farm operators in Canada in 2021, the first increase in 30 years.

British Columbia has the highest share of farm operators who are female.


Table 1
Table summary
This table displays the results of Table 1. The information is grouped by Province (appearing as row headers), Percentage of female farm operators (appearing as column headers).
Geography Percentage of female farm operators
N.L. 25.6%
P.E.I. 20.0%
N.S. 29.5%
N.B. 23.6%
Que. 27.7%
Ont. 31.0%
Man. 26.5%
Sask. 27.2%
Alta. 32.4%
B.C. 39.7%
Canada 30.4%

Sheep and goat farms reported the highest proportion of farm operators who are female.


Table 2
Table summary
This table displays the results of Table 2. The information is grouped by Farm type (appearing as row headers), Percentage (appearing as column headers).
Farm type Percentage
Sheep and goat farming 41.1%
Other animal production 40.7%
Poultry and egg production 35.7%
Greenhouse, nursery, and floriculture production 34.8%
Fruit and tree nut farming 33.8%
Vegetable and melon farming 32.8%
Beef farming and feedlots 31.0%
Other crop farming 30.8%
Hog and pig farming 29.1%
Dairy and milk production 27.4%
Oilseed and grain farming 25.6%

Nearly 1 in 2 (48.3%) female farm operators reported working off the farm in 2020.

Among these female farm operators, 57.7% worked off the farm 30 or more hours per week.

Less than half (47.8%) of female farm operators worked on farms that reported less than $50,000 in revenues in 2020, compared with 39.8% of male farm operators.

Conversely, 17.8% of female farm operators worked on farms with revenues of $500,000 or more, compared with 22.8% of male farm operators.

In 2021, 6 in 10 female farm operators were 55 years and older.

Source: Statistics Canada, Census of Agriculture, 2021.

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