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The Roles of Women on Wisconsin Dairy Farms at the Turn of the 21st Century
Fact Sheets No. 16, November 2001
by Jennifer Vogt, Douglas Jackson-Smith, Marcia Ostrom, and Sharon Lezberg

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Women have long been crucial to the operation of Wisconsin dairy farms. The vital role that they play has often been masked and underestimated by cultural images of men as farmers and women as housewives. And, with rapid changes occurring in the dairy industry as well as in the broader roles of men and women in American society, it is a critical time to reconsider the roles of women on Wisconsin dairy farms.This fact sheet documents the many ways that farm women contribute to Wisconsin’s dairy operations by examining their roles in farm work, farm decision-making, household work, off-farm work, and family and community life. A better understanding of these contributions could benefit farm women and others who work in “America’s Dairyland.”

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