Horticulture

Gender parity in focus

By Country News

Community members will come together in Shepparton to discuss gender equality in agribusiness at the Women in Agribusiness Forum on November 28.

A panel of agribusiness professionals will discuss the personal and systemic challenges of working in a male-dominated industry.

Facilitated by La Trobe University professor Amalia Di Iorio, the panel consists of I Love Farms managing director and Victorian Farmers Federation Horticulture Group president Emma Germano, Murray Dairy regional extension officer Lisa Birrell, Geoffrey Thompson Holdings Limited technical manager Bisi Oladele and Irrigated Cropping Council executive officer and Australian Women in Agriculture vice-president Charlotte Aves.

Keynote speaker Ms Germano has been recognised as an emerging agricultural leader and has appeared as a panel member on ABC’s Q and A.

In April last year, Ms Germano launched her new business, a mobile app called hellofarmer that assists farmers to recruit and induct farm labour, encouraging farm employment best practice.

After speaking at last year’s event, Ms Germano is looking forward to discussing women’s success in agribusiness.

‘‘I have a particular interest in the structure of business in the industry and the difference in my business internally,’’ she said.

Ms Birrell has worked in the dairy industry for more than 15 years, with a skill-based focus on cow nutrition and pasture management.

She has delivered a number of courses in her time at Murray Dairy, including Feeding Pastures for Profit, Develop Livestock Feeding Plans and in the past Transition Cow Management and InCalf.

Dr Oladele is a Nuffield Scholarship recipient with a PhD focusing on food technology post-harvest from the University of New South Wales.

She has a passion for the growing role of automation and how it can transform the horticultural industry.

Charlotte ‘Charlie’ Aves has completed a PhD investigating glyphosate resistance in flaxleaf fleabane and its management in mixed systems with the University of Adelaide.

She is passionate about Australian agriculture and she feels a thriving agricultural industry is the backbone of vibrant and sustainable rural communities.

Those interested in how gender equality in agribusiness can drive innovation and strengthen economic and social outcomes for the whole industry are invited to attend and join the group for refreshments after the event.

■The Women in Agribusiness Forum is on Wednesday, November 28, at La Trobe University Shepparton, 210 Fryers St, Shepparton, from 6.30pm to 7.30pm.

Tickets cost $25 with all proceeds donated to the Regional Women in Leadership Bursary.