Forum empowers farm women

Headshot of Jenne Brammer
Jenne BrammerCountryman

About 130 women from across the Wheatbelt gathered in Perth last week for the inaugural Inspire summit, hosted by Partners in Grain.

Outgoing PinG WA chairman and Yuna farmer Nicole Batten, also a 2016 Rural Woman finalist, said WA women played a vital role in the management of farm businesses and the conference aimed to support their learning, thus facilitating the growth of the grain industry.

She said Dandaragan farmer Bronwyn Fox would take on the role of WA chairwoman.

The two-day conference was aimed at women who already knew the basics of operating a farm business, but were keen to learn more.

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“WA farmers are some of the most efficient grain farmers in the world and PingG aims to support this important industry, Mrs Batten said.

She said upskilling women on farms would add to the productivity, prosperity and sustainability of grain farms.

“The PinG summit was an opportunity for women in our growing businesses to reach their potential by, not only increasing their networks, but gaining the tools, knowledge and confidence to go to the next level in either their business, community or industry,” she said.

Ms Batten said PinG began as a national organisation in 2001 with the aim of increasing the human resource capital of the Australian grains industry.

“This is done through facilitating professional development and support networks for all partners in the farming business. Partners is everyone in the business, not just women,” she said.

“One of the key beliefs that guides the success of PinG is that we remain an organisation that is driven by farmers, listens to the professional development needs from growers, and then delivers locally relevant, personalised training.”

WA co-ordinator Erin Green who farms at Yuna, said as a not-for-profit organisation, the opportunities PingG provided were otherwise unavailable or inaccessible to growers.

Conference topics included promoting a global perspective, promoting agriculture positively, farm boards and governance opportunities, human resources, social media and technology, advanced office management, overcoming adversity, succession and communication and negotiation.

The event was sponsored by Rabobank, other sponsors being Planfarm, RSM, Department of Agriculture and Food WA, Telstra, GRDC and CBH Grassroots.

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