Legislative proposal would create the Women in Agriculture Act
By The Star Staff
On Wednesday, Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González Colón announced a bipartisan bill known as the Women in Agriculture Act, aimed at promoting female participation in agriculture and closing the existing gender gap in the sector.
This legislative proposal would establish a Women Farmers and Ranchers Liaison within the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and prioritize funding for childcare centers in rural areas.
“In Puerto Rico, our agricultural sector is disproportionately male-dominated, with only 11% being women. The Women in Agriculture Act would establish a liaison position for women farmers and ranchers to focus on helping women access federal resources and assistance through USDA programs. In addition, the bill seeks to promote women in leadership roles at the agency and advance research on new technologies and equipment designated for the use of women. I am proud to support women thrive across all sectors and look forward to working with my colleagues to pass this bipartisan legislation,” explained González Colón in a written statement.
Representative Teresa Leger Fernández highlighted that women farmers, especially non-white women, are undervalued, underserved, and underpaid. She argued that the Women in Agriculture Act aims to support agricultural education and resources for women-led farms.
The bill has received bipartisan support from other congresswomen, such as Jen Kiggans and Chellie Pingree, who emphasized the specific challenges women face in the agricultural sector and how this legislation would level the playing field.
The proposal is backed by the Women, Food, and Agriculture Network (WFAN). “We have seen the need for the creation of a formal USDA liaison role to promote mentoring, internships, and women-led education/training,” expressed Juliann Salinas, executive director of WFAN.