In celebration of #Farm24 I partnered up with Ruth Parkes and Kathryn Taylor, founders of the #Agriwomen24 hashtag, to create a social media campaign to raise awareness of the role of female farmers and offer a glimpse into their varied daily lives.
You can find out more plus watch the videos in this piece from Farmers Guardian, and keep up to date with future initiative via the Farmer Bloggs Instagram channel.
Shining a light on the role of women in agriculture
06 Aug 2020 Alice Dyer
Three female young farmers have created a social media campaign as part of Farm24 to raise awareness of the role of female farmers and offer a glimpse into their varied daily lives.
Agriwomen24 was organised by Chloe Dunne, Ruth Parkes and Kathryn Taylor who say they were inspired by the Farm24 hashtag. Over 100 female industry advocates from arable and livestock farmers, to fruit growers, accountants, directors, consultants and land agents responded to the campaign, sending in videos outlining their role within agriculture.
Chloe says: “#Agriwomen24 is all about connecting and championing women in the sector. We saw making a video about the diverse roles women undertake and coinciding this with #Farm24 as a great way to spread the message and raise the visibility of what women are already out there doing, but also a way for women in industry to connect with each other. “It’s all about inclusivity - from driving machinery, to managing stock, or raising a family - there is no ‘right’ or singular role farming women undertake, and that’s what is fantastic about our industry. As more women are becoming involved within agriculture, especially from ‘farm to table’ we want to help promote that.”
Research Chloe is currently studying a PhD at the University of Nottingham to document the roles and visibility of women in UK agriculture and investigate how their contribution, participation and leadership in the sector can be supported. She adds: “Agriculture has traditionally been viewed as a male dominated industry, but it is clear that there is an increasing presence and voice of women both at grass roots and leadership levels. “It is great that it is something which is attracting more focus and support from an increasing number of women in ag groups and conversations taking place.”
Government statistics state that women represent 55% of family farm labour across the UK, but this drops to around 16% when it comes to farm management or ownership, Chloe says.
“Furthermore, when you take a step outside of farming public perception of the industry is still very much male dominated.”
This is why the concept of ‘visibility’ is a big part of this research, says Chloe.
She hopes her research will help to guide the direction of future support to mean that as an industry, agriculture is delivering in the areas which will make the most difference to both women, and the sector as a whole.
About the organisers
Kathryn Taylor, is a 20-year-old dairy worker from North Wales. From a non-farming background, she started off volunteering on a dairy calf rearing unit during school holidays. She now works on a family farm close to home doing relief milking, calf rearing and general jobs. She also runs an art business from home painting and drawing cattle.
Twenty-eight-year-old Ruth Parkes, from County Armagh, Northern Ireland works as a full time Pharmacy dispensary assistant and farms part-time with her father running a 60+ beef herd on their family farm, comprised of limousins and pedigree shorthorns.
Chloe Dunne, 24, from Leicestershire is not from a farming background but started working on beef and sheep farm at weekends while still at school and was hooked from there. She joined a Young Farmers Club and after A-Levels took a gap year working on different farms. This led her to study Agriculture and Business Management at the University of Nottingham. While on her placement year at NFU head office she began renting land and keeping free range eggs and pigs - supplying eggs and pork to local customers and shops. She nows works in agri-PR for rural agency Eve Communications alongside her PhD research.