back | View Cart

Livestock Farmer Safety

Livestock Farmer Resources Livestock Farmer Forum

...with the support of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, we spent about eight months surveying & interviewing women livestock farmers from across the country.

What we found was awe-inspiring

We found women getting up every day and taking on – and in most cases overcoming – challenges that would be the undoing of anyone who lacked incredible resolve, creativity, dedication and strength of character. We found women who loved what they did, and women who cared deeply about the animals they cared for.

June Hertzler
Photo of June Hertzler & friend by Rachel Terman

Our findings were also disturbing

40% of survey respondents – ranging in age from 17-76, from new farmers to women with 50+ years’ experience, from farms/ranches of less than an acre to 6,000 acres, in 32 states plus the U.S. Virgin Islands – reported having experienced an injury and/or chronic condition that interfered with their ability to perform daily activities on the farm or care for their animals. Of these, 86% reported the injury or condition in question as a musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) – a higher percentage than we found in other reports.

Two cross-cutting problems affected most if not all of these farmers

  1. Having to lift & transport heavy materials such as feed bags, hay bales and water or milk pails
  2. Challenges in handling & restraining animals, sometimes resulting in injury. (Chicken farmers rejoice! No injuries were reported from kicks by chickens)

A commitment to supporting women livestock farmers

All kidding aside, we were deeply concerned by what we learned. This section of our website is one part of our commitment to supporting women livestock farmers, by providing:

We want this site to be as useful as possible, so if you have any suggestions, please contact us at

With gratitude to women farmers everywhere, and to the USDA’s National Institute of Food & Agriculture Small Business Innovation Research program for supporting this work – Ann & Liz, owners, Green Heron Tools

back | top