Empowering Rural Women through Ladies on the Land
Finding field days attracted mainly men, Harden Murrumburrah Landcare launched Ladies on the Land as a female PROGRAZE course to allow women a space to learn, share ideas and build confidence. Due to the overwhelming popularity of the course, the group continued to grow and now meets once every three months as a Ladies on the Land group.
“Being a part of a group of women talking and learning about farming I just think is so, so important,” said Bronwyn Ryan of “Bonoak”.
“There are people in our group who are one hundred percent operational on the farm to others who have moved to a country town and don’t know anything about farming at all.”
“That bringing together of information is so vitally important.”
Learning from experts, sharing ideas and mutual problem solving to help futureproof their farming enterprises are key focus areas for the Ladies on the Land group, and members say it is the willingness of the women to share both positive and negative experiences with different on-farm techniques that makes the group so successful.
“We have a lot of people who don’t want to hide things when they haven’t worked (in their enterprise) which I think is really, really brilliant,” said Agstern Pastoral Company’s Robynn Sargent.
“We’ve been able to share a lot of ideas and worked out some timing issues which has helped us be at the front rather than behind the game.”
“Seeing what’s in the industry and whether there’s been something that’s relevant to you, that you need to research a bit more has been really good.”
By educating and empowering their members, Ladies on the Land is helping to grow women’s representation in agricultural politics and key decision-making processes. With women making up half of Australia’s rural workforce, supporting, engaging and providing opportunities for women in agriculture is critical for improving industry productivity and economic success.
“The Ladies on the Land group has provided a support network for women as they explore all sorts of things that are happening in their farm business,” said Harden Murrumburrah Landcare’s Louise Hufton.
“The women have an absolute comfortable place to discuss the issues that matter to them.
“We ensure that the group remains relevant because we tackle the issues that they actually want to tackle.”
Since its inception, participation in Ladies on the Land has now doubled, with more and more women eager to take advantage of the opportunities provided by the group and contribute to the sustainability of Australian agriculture.
“I definitely feel like becoming part of the Ladies on the Land and learning about making a farm a better place is making the planet a better place,” Bronwyn Ryan said.
“Healthy soils and a healthy landscape are definitely steps forward toward being a healthy planet.”
To find out more about Harden Murrumburrah Landcare’s Ladies on the Land group, visit: www.hmlg.org.au
This case study was produced as part of the Landcare Farming Innovations in Agriculture Series. Supported by the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program, the Landcare Farming Innovations in Agriculture Series is managed in partnership by Landcare Australia and the National Landcare Network.