News and Views

Celebrating women in agriculture: the force of female farming

Cait Uren
Cait Uren

The Australian Bureau of Statistics recently revealed 30 per cent of all farm managers in Australia’s $60 billion agriculture industry are women, and females represent over half of the enrolments in agriculture focused courses and degrees.

Despite playing an increasingly integral role in the industry, the involvement of women in the many segments of the agriculture industry has often been overlooked.

Pacific Seeds managing director Barry Croker said women are integral to ensuring an innovative and sustainable future for Australian agriculture.

“Women have been a part of this industry since the dawn of time, but a general lack of awareness and acknowledgment of the role women play has meant that many traditionally think of agriculture as a male industry,” Mr Croker said.

“As a company, we make a conscious effort to employ people from all walks of life because we know that our business will directly benefit from a broad spectrum of individuals.

“In my experience, men and women working in the seed industry have a shared set core values but can have different ways of looking at things.

“Being able to tap into these different perspectives has allowed Pacific Seeds to stay at the forefront of innovation and farming practises,” he said.

Pacific Seeds employs over 30 women across Australia across a number of segments within their business ranging from plant breeding, to seed production, agronomy, sales, logistics and administration.

Steph Clancy

Steph Clancy

Pacific Seeds team member, territory sales manager Steph Clancy operates a sales territory which covers key cropping areas in NSW and Victoria and has a role that involves a high degree of interaction with farmers, agronomists and crop researchers.

Ms Clancy said her experience growing up on a farm and now working as a professional in the agriculture industry has assured her that the sector’s culture is positive for women.

“To me it’s quite simple, we feed the nation, we feed the world and we need to continue to grow Australian agriculture in any way we can,” she said.

“I’d say to the young women who are interested in a career in this industry that it’s a challenge, and it’s not going to be an easy career, but it’s a challenge worth taking because of the impact you can have not only on the country, but the world.”

For more than 20 years Pacific Seeds has had women as part of their senior management team who have helped steer the strategy and success of the company, the most recent of which is Pacific Seeds’ Chief Financial Officer Cait Uren who said the industry wouldn’t survive without the combined efforts of both men and women.

“Historically agriculture has been seen as a predominantly male industry, but we’re definitely starting to see this perception change, so much of the success of agriculture relies on the presence of women and their continued dedication,” she said.

“Ultimately, we need to look at how both men and women contribute a diverse range of perspectives, backgrounds and expertise, without which, the industry can’t achieve its full potential.”

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