Rural women from across Victoria descended on Parliament House in Melbourne last week for the Second Annual Women in Agriculture Forum.
The event attracted more than 50 women from Bacchus Marsh to Bairnsdale, from Mirboo North to Meredith, and from Casterton to Cohuna.
These agricultural women not only witnessed the announcement of the Rural Women’s Network, but also shared their thoughts, ideas and hopes for the network’s start on July 1.
Participants were inspired by several speakers who talked of their experiences in agriculture and leadership roles, with a common theme of the need to ‘just have a go’.
VFF Horticulture Group president Emma Germano, who worked in hospitality and training before returning to the family’s Mirboo North vegetable property, talked about her experiences incorporating training into the farm business.
She also stressed the importance of having a woman’s voice in agriculture and using mentors to provide pathways for women.
Mead dairy farmer Di Bowles said it was important to take up opportunities, be ‘flexibly’ organised and learn to go with the flow.
Ms Bowles also had some bold advice for women to leave their comfort zone.
Participants workshopped the topic of skills development and training in agriculture, producing a range of solutions to training gaps and barriers.
■Rural and regional women can sign up for the Rural Women’s Network at: http://agriculture.vic.gov.au/agriculture/food-and-fibre-industries/rural-womens-network