UFU to host Women in Agriculture webinar series

The Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) has announced plans to host a Women in Agriculture webinar series.

The UFU launched its first Women in Agriculture conference in 2019 to recognise and celebrate the contribution of women to the industry.

However, as a physical event cannot take place due to Covid-19, the union has decided instead to host a series of virtual events on April 14, 21 and 28.

Speaking on behalf of the UFU Rural Affairs Committee, chair Jennifer Hawkes said: “We are delighted to be able to hold a virtual UFU Women in Agriculture event this year.

It was really important to the committee that after the success of our first-ever physical event in late 2019 and our virtual events earlier in the year with Women in Business, that we could keep the momentum going despite the prevailing Covid-19 situation.

“There are many benefits of having virtual events as participant numbers aren’t limited by the venue’s capacity or Covid-19 restrictions, there are no travel limitations and we can spread our fantastic line up across three nights.

“There are no restrictions on viewing, male and female members and non-members are welcome to tune in as well as those who are not from a farming background. They can watch one webinar or all three if they wish.”

The virtual events will be led by BBC Farming Matters presenter Nicola Weir.

Guest speakers include:

  • Veronica Morris Rural Support;
  • Norma Rowan Embrace;
  • Michelle Shirlow Food NI;
  • Chloe Dunne PhD researcher and Breedr marketing manager;
  • Esther Skelly Smith Shanaghan Veterinary Service; and
  • Claire McCallion PKF-FPM Accountants.

“The agri-food industry has come on massively over the past number of years with more women managing farm businesses and taking on leadership roles due to their hard work, perseverance and a passion for what they do,” Hawkes added.

However, it is still a very male-dominated industry and through our webinar series, we want to continue recognising and empowering women in the industry while showing young students the array of opportunities that are available in agriculture.

“Our fantastic line up of influential speakers will help us to do this by sharing their views and business knowledge to create an inspirational platform.

“Their involvement will reinforce the valuable contribution our women make to the agri-food industry in which merit and talent are the key components of leadership.”