In light of International Women’s Day and MBC’s Women in Agribusiness event this month, we would like to take the opportunity to honor this particular group of women. Women in agribusiness are largely the unsung heroes securing the future of farming for the next generation not just regionally, but globally.
While statistics are limited, it is widely believed that women make up half of the agricultural workforce and represent a large part of our next generation of workers, managers, researchers and decision makers.
Throughout the world, the family farm is the major setting in which women work as unpaid and too often unrecognised farmers. Family farms are crucial to global food security and sustainable productivity producing more than 80 percent of all food crops worldwide.
Women’s empowerment in agriculture has been rising to the forefront of international dialogue. It is widely recognised that raising the profile of women in agriculture is essential for global rural development.
Who Are the Women of Agriculture?
They’re not always that highly visible in our communities. They are sometimes (but not that often) featured on the front page of the ‘The Land’ in a crop update or pictured in a pen of top priced steers on the back page.
They are more often the people in the back paddock quietly stacking bales, mustering cattle, penning lambs, or pressing wool. They are often pulling together the BAS, getting the documents ready for the accountant and bank manager or shuffling money around to make bill payments and doing accounts.
They are often juggling the running of a household, child or aged care, business administration and accounting with physical jobs on and off-farm.
It’s no wonder we are often amazed at the ability of women in agribusiness to get stuff done!
At the Heart of the Industry
At MBC, we work with farming families at all stages. We see the vital role women play in the ongoing success of a farming operation. They are pivotal in securing the future of the business not only now, but for the next generation.
Security is at the heart of what many of these women do. They take care of and nurture the business, the land, and the biggest assets of the enterprise – the people.
Security will mean different things throughout the life stages of the business and the people in it. Security is at the forefront of day-to-day organisation and long-term business planning.
Women in agribusiness secure their businesses via insurance, procuring appropriate professional development and advice, meeting legislative requirements, putting in place exit planning and succession measures. This is what women in agribusiness often specialise in – the details.
In our experience, women in agribusiness seem to have a knack of knowing when to suggest and implement the process of getting professional advice. They know when they could do with help to get them over the next hurdle or to achieve their next personal or business goal. They are often crucial in providing the action plan to follow-up on and overall employing the necessary processes.
Our Call to Action
Australia has fallen behind other developed countries in its recognition and support for women farmers. Public and private sector collaboration is required to put a spotlight on the issue.
At MBC, we are passionate about building resources and knowledge to ensure women have a strong voice in the agribusiness industry along with the necessary professional advice and assistance. Our aim is to assist in securing the future of farming with women on the land.
Women in Agribusiness
- The researchers
- The communicators
- The drivers of change
They are at the heart of agriculture!