Rural women’s dairy network to build confidence
17 March 2017
As a person who grew up on a poultry farm, Cath Jenkins knows she still has a lot to learn about the dairy industry.
However what she does see is great potential to bring women in dairy together to benefit themselves and the industry as a whole, through the development of an Australian dairy women's network.
Mrs Jenkins was recently announced as a finalist for the 2017 Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation's (RIRDC) Victorian Rural Women's Award, with the winner announced next week in Melbourne.
"Women play a vital role in rural industries and dairy is no exception, with women working in all aspects of the industry and contributing in many ways, both on and off the farm.
"There are some great things happening in our industry, with many small groups of women across Australia meeting and working to build their skills and learn from each other, she said.
"A formal dairy women's network would help to create a platform for women to work together so they can link in to existing industry programs to increase engagement, confidence and leadership skills.
"My plan is to do research into how we might develop a National Dairy Women's network that can support these existing groups, plus help to form some new ones.
Mrs Jenkins said a national network would support women to become leaders in their home, their businesses, their communities, industry and beyond.
"Dairy women are very busy people, but contributing to your industry and community has many great benefits (both to the individual and the wider community) – but it can be difficult to start becoming involved," she said.
Mrs Jenkins said she was honoured to be named as a finalist and that she would use it to shine a light on dairy women.
"We've had a tough 10 months (more for some) and I hope I can promote the great work that dairy women do and the value they bring to our industry. We can be a major part our industry's future and I want to increase women's involvement and increase their numbers in leadership roles.
"If I win the award, I will use it to promote the benefits of a Dairy Women's Network. I hope my research will then be able to support the successful establishment of a sustainable model that will benefit dairy women and the dairy industry for many years to come."
The winner will be announced on March 22.
Categorised under: Agriculture