8 March 2012
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator Joe Ludwig, today recognised the role of women in rural communities and agricultural businesses as part of International Women’s Day.
Minister Ludwig said women are key to the productivity and sustainability of Australia’s primary industries.
“Women make an important contribution to the innovation, quality and competitiveness Australia’s agriculture sector is famous for,” Minister Ludwig said.
“As well, many contribute indirectly through their support in rural families and communities.
“International Women’s Day is an opportunity to recognise the achievements of women in agriculture as well as their considerable efforts – many of which often go unseen.”
The Gillard Government is committed to building opportunities for women in the agricultural industries. Since 2009, more than $4.6 million has been provided through Recognising Women Farmers grants to develop the leadership and representative capacity of women in primary industries.
These grants helped fund the National Rural Women’s Coalition and Network project “Developing future rural women’s leadership networks using new technologies and social media”, showcased in New York on 2 March 2012 at the United Nations Commission on the Status for Women, and the AgFarm project “Productive Farm Systems – Study Tour and Expo” which saw five Australian women grain growers undertake a study tour to Canada and report their findings at grain marketing forums and storage and handling facilities back in Australia.
Minister Ludwig said Australia’s outstanding female rural leaders are also recognised each year through a RIRDC Rural Women’s Award.
The award supports women with demonstrated leadership capabilities who have the desire and commitment to make an even greater contribution to their industries and communities.
“The finalists for this year’s award are fantastic ambassadors for Australia’s primary industries,” Minister Ludwig said.
“I congratulate them, and all the women who have chosen a career in the primary industries, for their passion and dedication.”
In 2012, the Australian Year of the Farmer celebrates women as a distinct group in the agriculture industry and highlights the essential role played by farmers in our society.