Women and Agriculture in the Appalachian Region

Scope: 

Women and agriculture have both held special importance in the culture of the Appalachian region for many years. Women have borne the responsibility for childrearing, housekeeping, feeding the family, and keeping traditions alive. On top of all this, many Appalachian women have played an integral role in the practice of agriculture in the region. Whether maintaining a kitchen garden or larger space for the family's subsistence or participating in broader scale agriculture that supports the family financially, the contributions of women have been largely unrecognized. Often not considered to be employment "outside the home", the work of farm women or farmer's wives has been an area of scholarly interest since the early 1980s. This resource seeks to provide the researcher with an introduction to key materials for study of this topic.

Introductory Text: 

Best, Michael and Curtis Wood (section eds.). "Agriculture." In Encyclopedia of Appalachia, eds. Rudy Abramson and Jean Haskell, 395-440. Knoxville, TN: University of Tennessee Press, 2006.

Walker, Melissa and James Cobb (volume eds.). The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture, Vol. 11: Agriculture and Industry. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2006. App. Coll. F209.N47 2006. See "Agriculture and Rural Life" (3-31); "Food and Markets, Women's Roles in" (72-75) and "Women and Agriculture" (133-136).

Library of Congress Subject Headings: 
  • Women farmers (Highly relevant)
  • Women in agriculture (Highly relevant)
  • Women - Employment (Highly relevant)
  • Agriculture (Also relevant)
  • Agriculture - Economic aspects (Also relevant)
  • Rural women (Also relevant)
  • Appalachian Region - Rural conditions (More general)
  • Agricultural systems (More general)
  • Food habits (Related)
Clipping Files Subject Headings - W.L. Eury Appalachian Collection: 
  • Women
  • Agriculture
  • Culture - Appalachia
  • Land Use
Library of Congress Call Numbers: 
  • HD607xxx Women farmers, Women in agriculture
  • HD609xxx Women - Employment
  • S441xxx Agriculture
  • HD17xxx Agriculture - Economic aspects
  • HQ1xxx Rural women
  • HN79xxx Appalachian Region - Rural conditions
  • S494.5xxx Agricultural systems
  • GT2853xxx Food habits
Books: 

Dunaway, Wilma. The First American Frontier: Transition to Capitalism in Southern Appalachia: 1700-1860. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1996. App. Coll. HC107.A127 D86 1996.

Fite, Gilbert. Cotton Fields No More: Southern Agriculture, 1865-1980. [New Perspectives on the South series]. Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky, 1984. Main Stacks HD1773.A5 F58 1984.

Jones, Lu Ann. Mama Learned Us to Work: Farm Women in the New South. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2002. App. Coll. HD6077.2.U6 J66 2002.

Neth, Mary. Preserving the Family Farm: Women, Community and the Foundations of Agribusiness in the Midwest, 1900-1940. [Revisiting Rural America series]. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995. Belk Library Main Stacks HN79.A41 N48 1995.

Walker, Melissa. All We Knew Was to Farm: Rural Women in the Upcountry South, 1919-1941. [Revisiting Rural America series]. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2000. App. Coll. HD6073.F32 U69 2000.

Guides, Encyclopedias, and Dictionaries: 

Abramson, Rudy and Jean Haskell. Encyclopedia of Appalachia. Knoxville, TN: University of Tennessee Press, 2006. App. Coll. F106.E53 2006.

Maman, Marie. Women in Agriculture: A Guide to Research. New York, NY: Garland, 1996. Google Books database (accessed November 28, 2009).

Wilson, Charles Reagan and William Ferris (eds.). Encyclopedia of Southern Culture. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1989. App. Coll. Ovsz. F209.E53 1989.

Wilson, Charles Reagan (ed.). The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture (12 vols.). Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2006. App. Coll. F209.N47 2006.

Bibliographies: 

Alley, Ginette. "'Knotted Together Like Roots in the Darkness': Rural Midwestern Women and Region- A Bibliographic Guide." Agricultural History 77, no.3 (2003): 453-480. Agricultural History Society database (accessed November 30, 2009).

Graves, Glenna Horne. A Selected Bibliography on (Agri)culture and Modernization Relating to the Appalachian South. Lexington, KY: University of Kentucky, 1988. App. Coll. Z5075.U6 A6 1988b. Approximately 80 citations from 1911-1986.

Reda, Kimberly and Robert Burton, Jr. A List of References Related to Small Farms and Family Farms. [Morgantown, WV]: Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, West Virginia University, 1984. Approximately 200 citations from 1948-1983.

Ross, Charlotte (ed.). Bibliography of Southern Appalachia. Boone, NC: Appalachian Consortium Press and Knoxville, TN: University of Tennessee Press, 1976. (Agriculture, p. 1-6). App. Coll. Ovsz. Z1251.A7 B5x. Approximately 500 citations.

Abstracts and Indices: 

JSTOR offers wide-ranging full-text coverage of journals in many disciplines in the humanities and social sciences. Many journals impose an embargo on access to their current material, but the true value of JSTOR lies in the tremendous backfiles it provides. Located under the subject page of any humanities or social science discipline on Belk Library's database page.

AGRICOLA (AGRICultural OnLine Access) is an index to the holdings of the United States Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Library and is a public source of agricultural information. Subjects covered are agriculture and related disciplines. The index contains citations to the items held by the Library, but many records are linked to a full-text document. Users can search the NAL Online Public Access Catalog and the Article Citation Database separately or simultaneously. Located under the subject Agriculture on Belk Library's database page.

ERIC (Educational Resource Information Center) indexes a number of publications intended for the education community. Journals dating as far back as 1966 are included. While it primarily provides citations only, the amount of full-text material available is growing. Located under the subject Education on Belk Library's database page.

Contemporary Women's Issues indexes and provides full-text access to documents from nearly 2,000 sources covering a wide range of issues facing contemporary women. It allows the user to narrow the search by subject, geographic region, article type, or publication type. Material as early as 1992 is included and updates are done monthly. Located under the subject Women's Studies on Belk Library's database page.

America: History and Life indexes works from a variety of disciplines that portray the culture and history of the United States and Canada. Citations for works dating back to 1964 are provided. Full-text access is provided through links to JSTOR and Project Muse, but checking here first will help to narrow the search. Located under the subject Appalachian Studies on Belk Library's database page.

Journals: 

Agricultural History. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press (for the Agricultural History Society). V. 1-, 1927-. Quarterly. Full-text available online via JSTOR Complete and Agricultural History Society databases accessed through Belk Library catalog.

Agriculture and Human Values. Gainesville, FL: Humanities and Agriculture Program, Center for Applied Philosophy and Ethics in the Professions, University of Florida. V. 1-, 1984-. Quarterly. Full-text available online via Springer Online Archives Collection database accessed through Belk Library catalog.

Journal of Rural Studies. New York, NY: Pergamon. V. 1-. 1985-, Quarterly. Full-text available online via ScienceDirect Backfile- Agricultural & Biological Sciences and ScienceDirect Freedom Collection databases accessed through Belk Library catalog.

Rural Sociology. Baton Rouge, LA: Rural Sociology Section, American Sociological Society. V. 1-, 1936-. Quarterly. Full-text available online via Education Research Complete database accessed through Belk Library catalog.

Websites: 

Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture. http://www.brwia.org/

North Carolina Cooperative Extension. Watauga County Center. http://watauga.ces.ncsu.edu

Rural Resources. http://www.ruralresources.net.

Women's Agriculture Community Web. http://www.safs.msu.edu/womenag/aboutus/us.htm.

Compiled by: 

Compiler: Kristin Hyle, 3 December 2009