An evolving look at ‘women’s work’
One of my colleagues told me she was impressed when she heard the founder of The Female Farmer Project, Audra Mulkern, speak at a recent conference about women in agriculture. Because I often interact with our Tree Top farmers—both men and women—I was intrigued enough to poke around a bit and find out more about the project.
According to its website (femalefarmerproject.org), The Female Farmer Project™ is “a multi-platform documentary project that chronicles the rise of women working in agriculture around the world.” It’s a virtual storytelling space with photographs, essays, articles and interviews, all focused on the fastest growing demographic in agriculture, the female farmer. The images are striking, and the writing is insightful. Many of the pieces are written by female farmers with a little coaching from the project editors. Definitely check it out if you have a moment.
As I mentioned in the course of my work, I often have the pleasure of meeting Tree Top owners/growers (Tree Top is a grower owned cooperative.) One I met recently stands out, Rachel Elliot—a sixth generation pear farmer. She works alongside her grandmother, parents and brothers on a 1,500-acre pear farm located on the Sacramento River Delta. The soil is rich and fertile there and has provided her family with a home and a way of life.
Rachel is carrying on the farming heritage in her family, which started 160 years ago through hard work and determination. Today she carries on that tradition. Beyond her own connection to the land, she’s forged another connection to the people who eat the fruit she grows. “We are devoted to maintaining our agriculture practices…making sure we adhere to food safety standards, because we know people’s loved ones will be eating this [fruit we grow].”
Female farmers like Rachel are just some of the scores of Tree Top growers in the U.S., who are carefully cultivating and harvesting fruit used in Tree Top products and ingredients. At Tree Top we work with our growers to provide transparency and traceability from the field to the shelf, bridging the gap so people can understand where and how their food is grown.
Check out all our ‘meet our growers’ videos here.