(Courtesy of The Land Feb 10, 2020, Hannah Powe)
WOMEN in agriculture were celebrated and provided with a platform for networking during a new initiative that was kicked off on Friday night.
Initiated by the 2019 The Land Showgirl Stephanie Clancy, Walbundrie, and a number of fellow ag professionals in the region, the new group called The Next Vintage aims to boost the networking of people within the Albury area and surrounds.
Ms Clancy who works for Pacific Seeds Australia, said Albury is a hub that we believed was not being utilised to its potential.
“It (Albury) is such a hub for the region in agriculture, but it is probably not utilised or capitalised on at all,” she said.
“I compare Albury to Wagga a fair bit … you look at Wagga and it is a real agriculture hub and Albury doesn’t even compare.
“We have the goal of growing the networking opportunities within the region, and creating a support network for all in ag.”
The Next Vintage Women in Ag networking evening is the first event the group has hosted, with both people directly involved in the industry as well as professionals in ag related businesses attending according to Ms Clancy.
“We had bankers in the agribusiness area, as well as commercial real estate agents that sell properties and are involved in industry that way here,” Ms Clancy said.
Not only was there a large turnout of women, 40 per cent of the people in attendance were males showing their support of the women in their lives or businesses that are involved in the agricultural industry.
“We were hoping to not only have a women but to have a good percentage of men,” she said.
“Sometimes with women’s movements they tend to become aggressive, and I don’t want that. I want it to be diplomatic and show that we have support both ways.
“Many of the males in my life support me as much as I support them, so I would like it to go both ways when it comes to these types of functions.
“All the men said they got more out of it then they were expecting.”
Three female speakers featured on a panel that told their stories and experiences as women in ag, while event MC Lyndsey Douglas, who is well known as the dynamic voice of many show rings across the country, including the Sydney Royal Show, spent the night engaging the crowd and asking people to think about the rural women that inspires them.
Among the answers were wives and partners, daughters, fellow colleagues, professionals in industry, business women and friends.
“The panel of speakers were all innovators in agriculture. One reshaping rural employment, a champion of regenerative agriculture, and a scientist revolutionising dated animal nutrition practices,” Ms Douglas said.
“40 per cent of the room was male – at a Women in Ag event. A great reflection of their support for the women in this sector.”
Speakers included; farmer and business women Katie Collins, ProAgni co-founder and CFO Fiona Soulsby, and current national AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award winner and Pointer Remote Roles founder and owner Jo Palmer, The Rock.
Inspiring the crowd, the speakers all told their journeys and what they have experienced and seen in relation to the women in agriculture topic.