Monday, July 25, 2022

2022's Best States for Pioneer Women


By John Schmidt
Lawn Love Communications Manager

Growing your own crops, herding your cattle, heating your bathwater on the stove — “The Pioneer Woman” star Ree Drummond proves that any city dweller can transition to self-sustaining rancher.

So, where in America could you live like a modern-day Laura Ingalls Wilder or Anne of Green Gables?

To find out, Lawn Love ranked 2022’s Best States for Pioneer Women by comparing the 50 states based on their suitability to a “Little House on the Prairie” lifestyle.

We looked at eight different factors indicating a state’s friendliness toward farming (especially for women) and surviving off the grid.

Key insights:

  • Alone in the Lone Star State: If you dream of being a cowgirl (and isolating yourself from society), it doesn’t get better than Texas, our No. 1 Best State for Pioneer Women. Earning nearly 11 points more than Oklahoma, our silver medalist and Drummond’s home state, the Lone Star State is most ideal for living off the grid.

    Texas leads in renewable energy use. Farming and ranching promise to be a breeze here, too. Texas ranks an impressive fourth in this metric but loses points in the Female Farmer-Friendliness category for employing fewer women at its farms than in nearly half of the other states.

  • Pioneer for a Day in Utah: You’d think the only state to officially celebrate Pioneer Day would fare well, but the Beehive State finished at a disappointing 44th place.

    In the state’s defense, Pioneer Day remembers the bravery of the first Mormon settlers in the Salt Lake Valley who sought freedom from religious persecution in Nauvoo, Illinois. In other words, the state holiday has little to do with celebrating the pioneer way of life.

    Objectively speaking, Utah is not an ideal state for wannabe pioneer women. It ranked below average in nearly every metric except for solar energy use at No. 12.

  • Rusty States: Think twice before literally putting down roots in Rust Belt states like New York (No. 43), Indiana (No. 49), and Pennsylvania (No. 50). These states make up the super majority of our bottom 10. 

    Turns out this region is a bit rusty when it comes to welcoming pioneer women, too. It’s easy to blame the region’s poor rankings on its cold climate, but our worst states simply lack the right conditions for pioneer women.


Our full ranking and analysis are available here:   

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