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Women's Contribution to Farming Celebrated by Minister

10 March 2016, at 12:00am

UK - Leading women farmers from around the country joined Secretary of State Elizabeth Truss to celebrate women’s contributions to British farming and the increasing number of women looking to the industry for a rewarding career.

Among those who joined the Environment Secretary to mark International Women’s Day were Lynsey Martin, a young beef and sheep farmer and chair of Chair of Agriculture and Rural Issues Steering Group for National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs, Beverly Dixon, HR Director of major fruit veg grower and exporter G’s, in Cambridgeshire, and current Harper Adams Business Management student Jessica Spencer.

The group discussed a wide range of issues relating to women in farming, including the barriers women continue to face when starting and building a career in the industry.

As well as exploring ways to reduce these obstacles, the roundtable looked at how to encourage more female students and women to consider farming as a serious career choice.

Today, women make up 28 per cent of the British agricultural workforce and the numbers of women running farms has steadily increased to just over 25,000.

Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss said: "The increasing number of women looking to a career in food and farming is positive and exciting. Farming, like any industry, needs to attract new talent and ideas and harness the skills of both young women and men.

"International Women’s Day provides us with an excellent opportunity to celebrate the contribution women are making to farming - from agricultural engineering to food production and advising retailers and supermarkets.

"With agriculture often perceived as a male-dominated industry, it’s important we recognise the leading role women are playing. Now I want to see the industry build on this and more women taking on jobs in farming."

In addition to hosting the roundtable, the Secretary of State also attended a Ladies in Agriculture event to mark International Women’s Day. Inspirational women working across the industry will talk to the professional networking group about qualifications and careers in agriculture, including how to put an agricultural qualification into practice and why agriculture is a great career opportunity.

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