Keynote speakers appear Gil Gallagherchief executive of the Northern Ireland Grains Trade Association (NIGTA), and Aimee Budge, who starred in the BBC series This Farming Life.
Following the Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee’s (AERA) survey Breaking the ‘Grass’ Ceilion, which was published in March this year, the theme of the event is ‘breaking the ground’.
UFU Chair of Rural Affairs Jennifer Hawkes commented: “After holding the Women in Farming online conference last year due to the pandemic, we are really looking forward to holding the physical event this October at the Glenavon Hotel.
“The survey by the AERA Committee broke the ‘grass’ ceiling, a major milestone for women in farming in Northern Ireland, publicly revealing the challenges they have faced over the years in the field.
“Now, through the conference, we aim to make progress by bringing women in agriculture together to hear from industry leaders and network.
“From learning how others do things on the farm and developing a career in agri-food, to more personal aspects such as balancing workload and family commitments, it can be very helpful to talk to others in a similar situation and know that you not alone.
“Sharing experiences is key to creating the solutions and necessary support for women in agriculture that have huge benefits for Northern Ireland’s agri-food industry as a whole.”
Jennifer continued: “The conference is also extremely important to show our younger generation how important agriculture and food production are, and the wide range of career opportunities that exist in agriculture regardless of your background. Gill Gallagher and Aimee Budge are shining examples of what can be achieved through hard work, dedication and a passion for all things farming.
“I encourage all men who have the opportunity to come to the event.
“They have an important role to play in the Women in Agriculture movement, because although things are changing with more women leading agricultural businesses, the majority of farmers are still older men.”
“So encouraging a daughter’s interest in agriculture, supporting their wife on the farm, or helping to ensure we have an agri-food industry that only values merit is very important.
“Some efforts may seem smaller than others, but they all make a world of difference.”
Commenting on the event, NIGTA CEO Gil Gallagher said: “This is a great initiative by the UFU to connect and empower women in an inspiring and supportive forum.
“Fantastic career opportunities are available in the agri-food sector at all levels and are open to all.
“Raising awareness of these opportunities is important, as well as giving women the opportunity to build a professional network of contacts to help support and develop their ambitions.”
Places are limited, tickets cost £20 and early booking is recommended. You can do this using the following link www.ufuni.org/events
https://www.farminglife.com/country-and-farming/this-farming-life-star-and-nigta-chief-executive-to-lead-ufu-wia-conference-3854538 This Farming Life star and NIGTA Executive Director will be chairing the UFU WIA Conference