Women In Horticulture Week

Jolene KisilevichAgTourism, Announcement, Bon Accord, East of Edmonton, Farms and Markets, Gibbons, Greenhouse & Garden Centres, Local Food, Northeast of Edmonton, Southeast of Edmonton, Summer Adventures

May 26 – June 7, 2024

Alberta Farm Fresh Producers Association                                  

Contact:   Alberta Farm Fresh Producers Association  Tam Andersen  780-909-6601

May 1st Sturgeon County, AB – The Alberta Farm Fresh Producers Association is celebrating Women in Horticulture Week, May 26-June 7 – 2024, recognizing the significant contributions of women in horticulture and agriculture, as well as their evolving roles in shaping the industry. Female farm operators play a pivotal role in Alberta agriculture. Their tireless work ethic, leadership skills, and organizational expertise shape the landscape of the agriculture industry across Canada.

In 2021, 16,590 female farm operators reported managing one-operator farms in Canada, an increase of 26.5% (+3,480) from 2016. In Canada, one-operator farms account for the entire increase of female farm operators.  The net increase between 2016 and 2021 in female farm operators managing one-operator farms was driven by Alberta (+1,065).

“Women are instrumental at our farm, nurturing a greener, more sustainable future,” says Tam Andersen, President of the Alberta Farm Fresh Producers Association (AFFPA), and owner of Prairie Gardens, in Sturgeon County. “At Prairie Gardens, we are a women-led organization, and 88% of our workforce are women! Across Alberta, the AFFPA represents farms engaged in agri-tourism that sell produce, U-pick berries or protein directly from the farm. Many of these farms lead the trend for women in horticulture.” 

While there has been notable progress, there is room for encouraging more women to enter the industry and supporting their advancement. Research shows that companies with gender-diverse executive teams are 25% more likely to achieve above-average profitability. This underscores the importance of the Fifth Annual Women in Horticulture Week, which occurs from May 26 to June 1. The week is dedicated to commemorating the achievements of women in horticulture and creating a supportive environment for their professional growth.

The Women in Hort week focus helps ensure that women’s efforts in horticulture—whether growing food, diversifying the family farm, helping the community learn how to garden, or sustainability—are acknowledged and supported, fostering an environment where their contributions can thrive and inspire.  All horticulture type farms in Canada generated $7.4 billion in gross farm receipts in 2015. Canada takes leadership in field vegetables and fruits – Canada excels in field vegetables, fruits, berries, and nuts production, with Alberta production valued at $123.4M annually.

Recent federal government initiatives, such as the Women Entrepreneur Program, support female entrepreneurs involved in the agriculture and agri-food sector. Data shows that female farm operators are increasingly engaged in diversified agriculture and horticultural activities, such as Direct Farm Sales or Organic Products.

The future is bright for women in horticulture. According to the 2021 Census of Agriculture, the number of female farm operators increased for the first time since 1991. In 2021, there were 79,795 female farm operators reported in Canada, up from 77,970 in 2016. This represents an increase of 2.3%.  By comparison, male farm operator numbers dropped by 5.8% over the same period.   In 2021, 30.4% of Canada’s farm operators were female, up from 28.7% in 2016. This steady increase in the proportion of female farm operators has been observed over several census periods.

Gardening Demographics:  In a broader context related to horticulture, Canadian women are more likely to be interested in gardening (68%) than men (57%). The age group that gardens at home the most consists of individuals aged 55 and older (68%), while 63% of those aged 18 to 34 and 57% of those aged 35 to 54 also partake in home gardening.

Support the initiative by updating your social media profile picture and sharing stories with the hashtag #womeninhort   #ABwomeninhort.

Tam Andersen
Director of Fun & Horticulturalist
Prairie Gardens
Celebrating 67 Years of Growing Trees for the Prairies
Specializing in Hardy Zone 1-3
Fruits and Ornamental Trees
P: 780.921.2272 F: 780.921.2398
E: Tam@PrairieGardens.org