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Rural gals in the spotlight for WAGs day

GUEST SPEAKER: South East AgForce president Carolyn Stone spoke about the role of AgForce in rural areas at the recent field day on Women in Agriculture at Kilkivan.
GUEST SPEAKER: South East AgForce president Carolyn Stone spoke about the role of AgForce in rural areas at the recent field day on Women in Agriculture at Kilkivan. Contributed

THE third in the series of Burnett Region Women in Agriculture field days held at Kilkivan featured speakers that dealt with personal and agricultural issues.

Organised by the Burnett Inland Economic Development Organisation and the Burnett Mary Regional Group, the day was targeted more towards the female members of a farming enterprise.

Other days were held at Mondure and Eidsvold.

Speakers dealt with health and safety, AgForce's role, climate adaptability, setting up an organic pork enterprise and a talk from blogger Leanne Baker. Kay Enkleman, Landcare facilitator with BMRG, said when a Landcare field day was run more men tended to turn up.

"We wanted something that would appeal to the women, but that men may come along to,” she said.

In her facilitator role, Ms Enkleman deals with groups and individuals involved in agriculture in some form or other.

"We try to get the latest relevant information in farmers' hands so that they can make informed decisions,” she said.

"There are some areas where women are the decision makers and they tend to be the first to suggest new ideas.”

Kristy Frahm, CEO of BIEDO and a farmer at Proston, said getting out into the smaller communities in the region was important to find out what concerns they had over a range of issues.

"BIEDO assists in organising events to help rural communities,” she said.

"Given a topic we can contact various agencies that can provide the necessary information and arrange times and places.”

She said BIEDO found a need for these types of field days that allowed women to get together on an informal but educational basis.

"Each day had various stall holders available for discussion as well as speakers,” she said.

"The days are a celebration of all the work that women do in agriculture that is essential to keeping an enterprise running smoothly.”

South East AgForce president Carolyn Stone is a grazier and farm stay tourism operator on the property Paschendale, outside Durong.

She said in her travels and meetings it was obvious women had a serious role to play in farming enterprises and often associated businesses.

"It is often the women who take the lead,” she said.

"AgForce has a strong female component at all levels of the organisation, with all regional managers currently women.”

Ms Stone said AgForce was basically a lobby and information organisation supported by membership fees.

"Being at these field days lets me talk to producers and find out firsthand what their problems are,” she said.

"I take all that back to meetings, where all the important behind the scenes work is done.”

AgForce is currently dealing with changes to property vegetation mapping and new biosecurity rules, along with feral dog and cattle tick problems.

Topics:  agriculture kilkivan rural women women women in agriculture


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