Women key to farm future

DIVERSITY PLAN: The first female president of the National Farmers' Federation in its 42-year history, Fiona Simson, believes transformational change is underway in the farm sector with the goal to double the number of women in agriculture’s leadership ranks by 2030.

A LEADERSHIP program supporting women who are shaping the future of Australian agriculture is searching for its fourth intake.

The National Farmers’ Federation’s (NFF) Diversity in Agriculture Leadership Program has a 30-strong alumni, many who have gone on to hold industry board positions and be changemakers within their sectors and communities.

Limestone Coast Landscape Board chair Penny Schulz (2018) and board member Robbie Davis (2019) are past graduates.

NFF president Fiona Simson, the organisation’s first female president in its 42-year history, said the program was transforming gender representation within agriculture.

“For many years, unspoken barriers have seen women all but excluded from the forums where key decisions are taken about agriculture and the future of regional communities,” Ms Simson said.

“Thankfully, transformative change to fix this inequality is now well underway.”

Last year, the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment reported female representation on agriculture, fisheries, and forestry related government boards rose to 50pc for the first time.

The Diversity in Agriculture Leadership Program is open to women over 25 who have a connection with agriculture and can demonstrate a commitment to industry leadership.

Successful applicants are matched with a mentor to help identify their leadership goals.

Participants are also provided access to inspiring and accomplished leaders and come together with their fellow 2021 cohort twice in Canberra.

Applications close Monday, April 5.