Clare farmer highlights changing role of women in agriculture

Clare farmer highlights changing role of women in agriculture

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Women are no longer seen as merely help on the farm but are now treated as equals…”

The National Rural Network (NRN) today launched the fourth video in its Women in Agriculture Video Series, which highlights the pivotal role women play in the Irish agricultural industry.

The series features farmers from the different sectors of Irish agriculture discussing their experiences of farming in contemporary Ireland.

The latest video features Aoife Forde, a suckler farmer, who farms in the heart of the Burren, in Carron, County Clare. Aoife farms alongside her parents PJ and Fiona and together, they have a 40 cow suckler herd. Aoife has an Honours Degree in Agricultural Science from the Waterford Institute of Technology and has recently completed a Masters in Agriculture, Innovation and Support as a Walsh Scholar with Teagasc and University College Dublin.

“Women are no longer seen as merely help on the farm but are now treated as equals” says Aoife. Commenting on the historical trend of succession and inheritance of Irish farms, she says “the idea of simply passing the farm over to eldest son is starting to die out, which in my opinion is a good thing. A farm should be passed over to anyone who is really interested in it, rather than just a son for mere traditional sakes”.

Through her experience and involvement in the Burrenbeo Winterage events and her Master’s Degree research, Aoife comments on the importance of women not just on the farm but within their rural communities saying “Women are extremely resourceful, resilient and very innovative. There is a huge role for them to play in rural Ireland in developing further enterprise opportunities”.

Commenting on the video series, Dr Maura Farrell, Lead Researcher with the NRN and Rural Geographer at NUI Galway says “These videos challenge traditional perceptions of women in Irish farming. The women in these videos are highly innovative, resilient and dedicated to farming, similar to many other women on farms across Ireland. Their expertise and commitment reinforces my belief, that a good farmer is a farmer irrespective of gender”.

The Women in Agriculture Video Series is available at www.nationalruralnetwork.ie

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