With International Women’s Day coming up this week (March 8), young farmer Eleanor Durdy tells us why she thinks now is the time to consider getting in to the farming industry.
Women are being recognised in their careers now more than ever before.
With much uncertainty surrounding the industry over Brexit and the country’s place in farming going in to the future, Eleanor Durdy believes this is the time for female farmers to come to the forefront with their ideas.
It’s the 21st century and attitudes towards women in the workplace have noticeably changed, full stop. Us girls are now more confident in our working choices and tackling those positions that have always traditionally been part of the mans world, making modern farming a more accessible career path.
Ladies, gone are the days of settling as the farmer’s wife, there’s so many opportunities to make us the farmer if that is what you wanted. Whether you come from an agricultural background or not, modern farming has so many incredible career pathways. As a female farmer, you can be a manager, engineer, vet, meteorologist, crop scientist... the list goes on.
The accessibility of agricultural education is actively ploughing down the barriers and inspiring young female farmers to make their mark and get involved in a sector that is currently heavily represented by men. Even without specific agricultural qualifications, you can go a long way in modern farming with just a passion for the outdoors in your back pocket.
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Oh, gosh, so many. I really admire women who came from a city background and have become farmers. There's the "blow in" mode for a start and then suspicion for being female, and that's before a cow is even milked. @LeonieVella for one, Hannah Cozens for another.— Lorna Sixsmith 🐄 (@IrishFarmerette)
Oh, gosh, so many. I really admire women who came from a city background and have become farmers. There's the "blow in" mode for a start and then suspicion for being female, and that's before a cow is even milked. @LeonieVella for one, Hannah Cozens for another.— Lorna Sixsmith \uD83D\uDC04 (@IrishFarmerette) March 5, 2018
There is one thing that it certain in life: Everyone has to eat! Being a farmer isn’t just a job, it’s a way of life, so why not be part of a lifestyle that has the task of feeding the exploding world population.
Brexit is going to be a game changer, but an exciting chance for female farmers to step up and make a difference. With Michael Gove MP promising to ‘support innovation, improve productivity, train a new generation of entrepreneurial young farmers and revive rural communities’ – what a time to be involved. Brexit highlights the greater need to Back British Farming – whatever gender you are.
No, we’re not the strongest and I will be first to admit it, but if you can engineer ways to minimise strain, then farming becomes a gender neutral, level playing field, as well as being better for health and safety. Modern machinery has taken away the need for heavy lifting, giving us girls a better opportunity to be part of a blossoming area of expertise.
Thank you lovely one ❤️, you do just the same and more for me. I have to say that @DogDuckLark is killing it at the mo with all that she is doing and more, ain’t nothing that will break that old dame 😉.— SHEPHERDESS KIT (@shepherdesskit)
Minette Batters, the first female President of the NFU has pledged to hit the ground running with her desire to stir even greater enthusiasm amongst the farming community. She recognises that women have an important role to play in the future of agriculture in this country and has called on the government to put British farming on the global map. Her election has shown that females can be at the forefront of modern farming.
With a lot young people choosing to stray away from farming, there is a gap in the market for thriving young farmers, male or female to make their own mark. The stigma of females in farming is rapidly being eroded, with fathers now leaving their farms to daughters. My own dad couldn’t be more supportive of my decision to farm and actively encourages me to constantly learn new things about the industry. Ladies, farming is a way of life, so don’t let being a lass stop you!
International Women’s Day provides an excellent opportunity to celebrate the contribution that women are making to farming – whether it be in agricultural engineering, food production, sales or in the supermarkets.
In an age where there is a lot of pressure on young people to look good, spending time on a farm can prove that even mud, oil and diesel perfume can be beautiful. Sick of those ankle breaking heels and doing your hair? Being a farmer is so comfortable, boots and hats all the way.