photography: DL Acken  styling: Kim Brooks

photography: DL Acken
styling: Kim Brooks

Audra Mulkern is a 2019 James Beard finalist, writer, photographer and international speaker who is changing the way you look at farming and the food on your plate.

She is the founder of “The Female Farmer Project™” – a multi-platform documentary project that chronicles the rise of women working in agriculture around the world.  From in-depth stories, personal essays, photographic portraits, a podcast, and in-development documentary film -- the project gives a powerful voice to the fastest growing demographic in agriculture-- the female farmer.

Audra is the Co-Executive Producer and host of the in-progress documentary film, Women’s Work: The Untold Story of America’s Female Farmers.

Audra and her storytelling partner, Debbie Weingarten are 2019 James Beard Award nominees for their investigative reporting work on discrimination practices against black farmers.
'It's not fair, not right': how America treats its black farmers

The Female Farmer Project™ has garnered international recognition, and has been featured and published in a number of outlets including The Guardian, The Today Show, Condé Nast, Huffington Post, PBS, The Seattle Times, and has been in exhibition at the United Nations in New York, the IFAD building in Rome, La Maison Rouge Gallery in Paris, FarmAid30, TEDxManhattan 2015 and is in permanent exhibition at the USDA in Washington DC. 

Readers Digest Country Woman Magazine identified 45 "Amazing Women" in honor of their 45th Anniversary. Audra Mulkern was honored alongside Temple Grandin, Krysta Harden, Sandra Day O'Connor and many others who represent the movement in embracing and celebrating women and the country way of life.

Audra also won the Cascade Harvest Coalition Wendell Berry award for 2015, the PCC Farmland Trust Barn Raiser award in 2018 and the Tilth Alliance ‘Advocate of the Year’ award in 2018 for her work on passing legislation to help fund mental health resources at the state and federal levels.

Audra currently serves on the Refresh Food and Tech Working Group representing women in agriculture. The Refresh Working Group brings together farmers, small business owners, researchers, corporate partners, nonprofit leaders, educators, community organizers, and innovators working across the food system to explore—and hopefully finding consensus around—intersecting policy issues at the nexus of food and technology. The project is initially funded by Google and led by Swell Creative Group.

Her commercial and editorial clients are featured below.

Audra Mulkern and Debbie Weingarten before the 2019 James Beard Foundation awards ceremony Courtesy of  Belinda Chang , Photograph by  Landon Nordeman

Audra Mulkern and Debbie Weingarten before the 2019 James Beard Foundation awards ceremony
Courtesy of Belinda Chang, Photograph by Landon Nordeman

Jessica Reed, The Guardian Debbie Weingarten Audra Mulkern photo cred: Kent Miller

Jessica Reed, The Guardian
Debbie Weingarten
Audra Mulkern
photo cred: Kent Miller

 As a speaker and panelist, she has taken the stage at:

SXSW | Austin, TX
P(our) 2017 Symposium | Gender | Paris, France
George Washington University's Global Gender Program, for the International Womens Food Leadership Forum
Women to Watch | Kirkland, WA
Oxfam International Women’s Day event | Seattle, WA
International Food Blogger Conference | Seattle, WA
Focus on Farming | Snohomish County, WA
Women In Sustainable Agriculture Conference | Portland, OR
Montana Farmers Union Women Conference | Keynote | Montana
National Farmers Union Women Conference | Keynote | San Diego, CA
Western Washington University guest lecturer | Bellingham, WA
Tilth Alliance Conference | Spokane, WA

She also has had numerous appearances in television news, on radio and newspapers to discuss her documentary work. Click here for complete list

The Female Farmer Project becomes even more valuable if considered in the context of the International Year of Family Farming, launched by the United Nations in 2014 to highlight the major role and potential of family farmers in the struggle against hunger and the preservation of natural resources.
— WE Women for Expo Milano 2015
The subjects of Audra Mulkern’s photographs are diverse: They’re former biologists, artists, journalists, and public administrators. They also have something awesome in common: They’re part of a growing group of female farmers. Take a look at some of the beautiful photographs on Modern Farmer, then check out her Female Farmer project.
— Saveur Magazine
Audra Mulkern is an American griot. Her beautiful photographs and elegantly told stories are recording a rising movement of women taking on the leadership needed to stand up the three legged stool of sustainable agriculture: production of flavorful and nutritious foods; conservation of environmental resources; and healthy management of human resources. To boot, her modernized storytelling is making agriculture and a return to land stewardship cool again not only for adult women, but for our daughters, too!
— Marlene Stearns, George Washington University
Plenty of folks experience what Oprah dubbed an “a-ha moment,” in which a sudden realization shifts a person’s point-of-view, perhaps even spurring action. But few go on to radically change their lives, and the lives of others, the way Audra Mulkern has. After noticing that women staffed most of the booths at her Washington state, farmer’s market, Mulkern morphed from a stay-at-home mom into a world-class photographer, filmmaker, writer, and public speaker—acquiring any skill necessary to bring attention to agriculture’s unsung female workforce. Through her non-profit The Female Farmer Project, she’s raised awareness via podcasts, social media, TEDx talks, and photography exhibits around the world, including a permanent installation at the USDA in Washington, D.C. A children’s coloring book titled Girls Can Be Farmers Too and the documentary Women’s Work are forthcoming.
— Sarah Gray Miller, Seed Phytonutrients/Loreal Profile
The best ideas come out of one’s personal experience and passion. When Audra Mulkern set out to find out where her produce came from, she got more than she bargained for. She stumbled upon a movement and a mission: a growing number of women are turning to farming as a profession, and Audra is showcasing these women’s stories through the Female Farmer Project.
— Microsoft Alumni Network
Mulkern’s photographs evoke a sense of beauty and realism, depicting the hard work and simple satisfaction of women in the farm-to-table movement.
— FoodTank
First came the sense of surprise, then, right on its heels, the surprise that she was surprised. In the fall of 2012, Audra Mulkern, a former business development manager at Microsoft, was making one of her frequent strolls through the Carnation farmers market near her Duvall home when something dawned on her. Virtually all the people behind the market tables were women. That observation led her to wonder what stereotype she had bought into that made it seem unusual to see so many female farmers.
— Seattle Magazine
Before Mulkern developed her photography series, The Female Farmer Project, she was just your average CSA member and friendly farmers market shopper in rural Washington. Many of us can attest to being part of this early Sunday morning crowd—moseying over to our local farmers market with organic teas at hand, ready with reusable totes, small change, and a slew of children and/or dogs ready and willing to stock up on vegetables, fruits, and assorted goodies for the week—but Mulkern was interested in more than the farm-fed organic lifestyle.
— BUST Magazine
Audra Gaines Mulkern would probably not describe herself as an activist, yet her mission, these days, is advocacy on behalf of farms in general and female farmers in particular. She fiercely believes that the plethora of “future of food” conferences that dot the urban landscape pay scant attention to farms and farmers, and even less to female farmers.
— Forbes
Audra Mulkern is changing the way we look at farming and the food on our plates, one story at a time. Her blog, The Female Farmer Project, presents in-depth stories of women who have pioneered and persevered in agriculture, personalizing the honest and hard-working daily life of the people who make good food possible. Her heartfelt words and photography have taken The Female Farmer Project throughout the Northwest and across the country, to over a dozen farms, collecting stories as well as highlighting the importance of quality ingredients.
— Honest Cooking Magazine
The Female Farmer Project really resonates with us and I am so happy to have someone like Audra out there telling the stories of all these hardworking women!
— Victoria Masters, Co-Founder, Director & Farmer - Mama Llama Good Farm
Audra’s photos are arresting. Shot well with beautiful but restrained post-production, and capturing the authenticity of the women who provide the food we eat - what’s not to love! I’m the third generation of a farming family in Prosser, Washington, and grew up next to my Mom and Grandmother in the vineyard. Audra’s images capture both the apparent strength and femininity that (to my eyes anyway) seem to define a true female farmer. It’s great to see her images added to the canon of “farm life” photography; let’s hope they help start a discussion about the stereotypes that exist beyond the world of Barbie and TV shows.
— James Michael, Northwest Cherry Growers
In 2014 I attended a workshop at the International Food Blogger Conference by Audra Mulkern called “Cooking Backwards: The Art and Science of Local and Seasonal Cooking”. It was about the best one I have attended at any conference. It hit so hard, I wanted to leave after, and go home and dig up my property.
Well....I did. And I spent all fall and winter on it - and having been so influenced by the workshop, I am proud to say that 6 months later I am living my suburban homesteading dreams. It even changed how I blog as well, I did a 180 after it.
I’d go as far to bet I might the only person who walked away that fired up - but it made the entire weekend worth it for me. Just one class can make THAT big of a difference.
— IFBC 2014 Attendee

Select Clients Include:

Volvo / Polestar 2

Land O'Lakes

Jameson Whiskey

PCC Natural Markets

Pike Place Market

King County

Draper Valley Farms

Mesa de Vida Foods

Simple & Crisp Foods

Bluebird Ice Cream

Martha Stewart Living

Martha Stewart Weddings

A Kitchen Box - Rooted in The Valley Beet Box

Chef Kirsten Helle 

Anchorhead Coffee



Debi Lilly


National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition 

Seattle Tilth

Cherry Valley Dairy and Creamery

 Dancing Crow Farm

Little Brown Farm

SnoValley Tilth

Tieton Farm and Creamery



The Guardian

Reader’s Digest

Condé Nast


Seattle Magazine

UNUM Magazine

Modern Farmer

Rodale's Organic Life

Popular Photography

BBC World Service

Edible Baja Arizona

Edible Seattle

Whidbey Life Magazine

425 Magazine

Country Woman

Country Magazine


Edible Piedmont - cover

an.schlage magazin - cover 

Organic Connections - cover

In Good Tilth - cover



photo:  Julin Lee  styling:  Kim Brooks

photo: Julin Lee styling: Kim Brooks