Fri. Jun 14th, 2024

NSW Farmers are bringing Empowering Women in Farming Business workshops back to the New England to support and fast-track professional development in the agricultural sector. 

Twelve workshops are scheduled across NSW in 2024. One has already been held at Armidale, but another is locked in for Moree on June 20 and a second in Tamworth on July 3. 

All women working in the State’s agricultural industry in one form or another are welcome to attend. The venues and exact start times are still to be confirmed. 

NSW Farmers Projects Manager Georgia Campbell says these workshops  “are designed by women, for women in those regions,” after the lobby group went to different areas in the State to “ask them what they want to improve on.” 

“Tamworth and Moree are more networking-based opportunities because the women in those regions can be a little bit more spread out, so we found they were more just looking for somewhere to come together and connect with people,” she said. 

“It’s been designed and sort of inspired by the people in your own community; you won’t come along and have no interest in what’s going on.” 

Each workshop has a particular focus chosen by the women in the region, but Georgia says there will be a “whole scope of other sessions,” teaching various skills as well. 

Along with the networking opportunity, the events will provide a chance to learn about bookkeeping, record keeping, employee management, media communication, personal branding, website design, social media, and more. 

“We’re breaking the day down into sort of three or four workshop sessions plus a couple of key speakers as well from women in the area, there will be this massive range of exposure to a whole heap of different concepts,” Georgia said. 

Workshops a result of growing demand in the sector 

According to the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, more than 88,000 women worked in agriculture throughout 2023. 

Further data shared by the government department found that from 2016 to 2021, the number of women employed in the agriculture industry grew by 7,105, almost two-thirds (66%) of the sector’s overall expansion. Around half (48%) of the women working in agriculture were employed as managers in 2021. 

Georgia says an increasing number of women are looking for entrepreneurial ways to market and sell their farms’ output but may not have the support or networks to successfully pursue these pathways. 

“I think there’s been a lot of appetite for workshops and upskilling options like this. Women provide a huge amount of input into the agriculture sector, but a lot of the time, they’re underrepresented,” she said. 

“That can be all the way through, on the farm all the way through to the board or director level as well. We’re trying to help women formalise their skills so they can put their hands up for all sorts of different opportunities and put themselves out there in the industry,” Georgia added. 

Three events have already taken place, including one at Armidale on April 30. Georgia says they have all been a great success so far and hopes that this is a clear signal that events like this are needed on a regular basis.

“We’re hoping that the success of these has already been clear in the first two or three, so we can continue rolling them out beyond just the end of this year,” she said. 

Head over to the NSW Farmers website for more info on how to register, exact starting times, venue locations, and a full list of other events taking place around the State.

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