Abstract: While rural and farm women have a long history of interaction with the Australian state, it is only recently that Commonwealth government departments have established specifically dedicated policy machinery to address their needs. What is notable is that this has occurred at a time when other gender equity infrastructure is being disbanded. This article examines this anomaly. To begin, it documents the material and discursive changes in terms of equity for women which have occurred since the election of the Howard government in 1996. Following this, it details the emergence of a state agenda for rural and farm women in Australia and explains some of the definitive elements of this agenda. In the final section, the article gives attention to explaining why equity for farm and rural women has been emphasised by government in a period marked by the erosion of state-sponsored equity initiatives.