The global agricultural workforce continues to grow and prosper, and now more than ever – women are leading the way.
According to the United Nations (UN), women account for a substantial proportion of the agricultural labour force, and make significant contributions to production, food security and nutrition, land and natural resource management and climate resilience.
Today, on the UN International Day of Rural Women, we sat down with some of GrainCorp’s fantastic women to find out what makes them tick.
Celebrated on October 15 each year, the initiative recognises the important role that women play in agricultural and rural development around the world.
Farming her way: Angela Ryan, GrainCorp Feeds NZ Marketing & Customer Experience Manager
Growing up on a dairy farm in New Zealand, agriculture is in the blood for GrainCorp Feeds NZ Marketing & Customer Experience Manager Angela Ryan.
Having worked in agri-marketing roles for 15 years, Angela continues to enjoy a meaningful career while running the family farm alongside her husband.
I’ve always loved farming and feel grateful that I’m connected to the farm while continuing to work in the agriculture industry. It keeps me grounded and closer to the true challenges and understanding our farming customers.Angela Ryan
Angela, who is a working mother of three and a strong advocate for women in agriculture, says she has seen a shift in on-farm decision making to include more women.
“Increasingly, I’m seeing young women step up to take over the family farm, or having more direct involvement, quietly getting things done without gender being an issue.
“In fact, I feel like there are a lot more opportunities for rural women throughout the entire industry, from more on-farm decision-making and leadership to running agribusiness’s to operations and governance roles.
“I’m privileged to work with such women through my role with GrainCorp Feeds, where I see strong, capable women doing a fantastic job, and it’s hugely refreshing and inspiring.
Angela envisions farming as part of her future for the long-term and hopes agriculture can get to a stage when a woman’s role on the farm is no longer out of the ordinary.
I believe there has been a big change around the willingness to adapt to different ways of doing things on farm, which, as a business, encourages us to be innovative, foster diversity and consistently think of different ways of doing things.Angela Ryan
Enthusiastic and Ag-savvy: Courtney Campbell, Commercial Agribusiness Analyst
Born and raised on a broadacre cropping farm in Victoria’s Wimmera region, Courtney recalls riding the header or driving chaser bins with her Dad from an early age.
Having worked five consecutive harvest seasons with GrainCorp as a harvest casual, joining the company’s graduate pathway program in 2022 was a ‘no-brainer’.
Several months in, Courtney is loving the diversity of the role, the constant opportunity to learn and the close engagement with growers.
“I’m gaining more confidence within myself and my ability to help growers,” she says. “I feel like I’ve found the right industry where I can develop my skills and make a difference. “
Courtney has embarked on the pathway while she finishes studying a Bachelor of Agriculture Science at Charles Sturt University and says in her cohort, the number of women outnumber men.
In fact, women comprise more than 55 per cent of all students studying agricultural science at university (2016 Census), a clear indication that there is a lot of bright, new talent entering the industry.
“As a young woman in ag, I believe we really have the opportunity to grow and make a difference if we are willing to work for it.
While we may have to work harder to prove ourselves at times, women bring resilience and adaptability to the industry, which I think provides the opportunity to think differently.Courtney Campbell
“My advice to any other young women considering a career in agriculture is to not be afraid to give it a go. If it’s something you really want, push for it, don’t stand back and wait for it to happen.”
GrainCorp’s graduate pathways are aimed at growing aspiring talent through the company, while supporting their professional development. Visit our Careers page to find out more.
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