GROVEPORT, Ohio - More women than ever before are running farms in our state.

What You Need To Know

  • According to the report, "The Status and Changing Face of Ohio Agriculture" published by The Ohio State Universiity Extension, the rate of female farm operators increased from 10 to 21 percent between 2002 and 2017

  • Katherine Harrison is a goatherd

  • Harrison Farm raises goats, sheep, chickens, laying ducks, meat rabbits and honey bees

Katherine Harrison is a part of that growing trend. She owns and operates Harrison Farm in Groveport.

"My family has raised sheep as long as we can record in our history. And I am the fifth generation of my family to work on this particular farm. We raise sheep, goats and chickens and also have laying ducks, meat rabbits and honey bees," Harrison said.

She said the last two years have been difficult. The weather affected her soybean harvest, prices fell due to the trade war, a genetic disrder wiped out some of her sheep and then the pandemic hit.

"This has been a very unique year at the farm and some of the goats that you're seeing right now are those that we call our special needs groups. They are animals that have needed some extra help, some extra extra nutrition along the way and I'm actually really proud about how they're coming along in recovering from a difficult year, which I'm hopeful is a good parallel for how the farm may be able to recover as well," she said.

Before taking on the farm, Harrison spent years as a teacher, wedding planner and butcher, but it's being here on the farm that she enjoys the most.

"I feel incredibly fortunate to be a woman in agriculture. I was raised in a very traditional way, but I was fortunate that my grandfather truley believed that an individual could do whatever they put their mind to doing and he belived that it was important to have skills, so even though I was a girl he thought it was just important that I learn how to drive a tractor as I learn how to cook and bake," she said.

To download the "The Status and Changing Face of Ohio Agriculture: Summary of Ohio Farm Trends 1997-2017" click here.