Women have been involved in agriculture and farming life for generations. Not only have they been strong support systems and hard working employees but many have acted as trailblazers in an industry which is often dominated by men. The stereotype of what makes a ‘farmer’ or who should be the one to run a farm is rapidly changing - as many females choose to dedicate their lives to study, work and the success of current agricultural movements.
The ability to combine a life on the farm with careers, spanning anywhere from banking, consultancy, product representatives to animal health has grown to be strong pathways for many women around the country. Life in agriculture is often very diverse and can be a challenge in itself. In saying that, it is one which many women seem to thrive from.
Life on the farm can often mean isolated living situations, the potential for lack of resources due to location and small pools of people spread throughout regions. However, rural communities throughout New Zealand no matter how small are bounded by networks of families, friends and business associates often formed through key women figures.
Traditionally women are viewed as just farmers wives. We believe there is nothing wrong with playing this role as it is a vital part in achieving successful work life balance as many partners spend their lives committed to the land. However, we know the women's role spreads much wider than just domestic support.
Hard work is a key part to the success of farms and agricultural dependent businesses, and it is a quality which can unofficially be associated with many women living within rural communities. Long day's, physical labour and prolonged outcomes can mean that there is often no quick fix to many of the problems only those within rural locations can understand. New Zealand women are undeniably tough and are molded by their environments to be strong pillars of agricultural communities nationwide but who need support just as much as men.
We believe that no matter what part is being played, women in agriculture ought to be celebrated because rural life would not be possible without each essential support system.
October was a busy month for many with the wrap up of calving and it was no different for the Grass Roots Media team. The 15th of October saw the celebration of International Rural Women's day and the team has been hard at work setting up their second Instagram account, @AgWomen.
Follow and let them know what you have been up to you in your community or if they can help you make life a little easier with any of their services.
Georgie Cox is coming to the end of her studies at University in Auckland, where she is completing a Communications degree, majoring in Advertising. Georgie comes from a sheep and beef background in the Wairarapa.