Celebrating Female Farmers!
Monday 8th March is International Women’s Day. At Jersey Dairy we are celebrating all the women who contribute to our local dairy industry, from cow to carton.
Jersey Dairy is all about girl power, with ladies working in production, engineering, laboratory, quality control, sales, accounts, marketing and farming.
On International Women’s Day, we can’t help feeling proud of our female farmers that are actively supporting the dairy industry in Jersey. Farming is a profession that people typically assume is dominated by men, but that’s not the case in Jersey!
Hear from fourth-generation dairy farmer, Becky Houze, on what she has to say about being a female farmer in 2023…
“I get a lot of praise from people about going into a man’s world, because I’m one of a very few number in the farming industry in Jersey. However, back in the day, the farm was run by the wife and farmer together, so when you think about it, women in farming isn’t really a new thing!”
“I asked my nan recently what she did for a career and she said ‘a farmer’s wife’. But I said: ‘You helped on the farm, how come you wouldn’t consider yourself a farmer too?’. She said: ‘All right then, I would consider myself a farmer’. It’s only today that women have been having more progressive roles in farming, which is due to a change in society where women are being heard more”.
“From my experience as a woman in the agricultural world, I am treated like everyone else, always given the same respect, always encouraged by everyone, and I would only be where I am through the guidance and support of others in the industry. In the past, I have had the odd comment, normally from people who aren’t so much in the industry, and don’t really know what you do. I had a few comments when I was younger, when people thought farming might have just been a phase. I sure hope I’ve proved them wrong!”.
In the UK only 1 in 5 farmers are female and the industry is still perceived as a male profession with women experiencing many barriers to getting equal access to land, finance and training. However, things are changing! According to the Office of National Statistics, in 2018 about 17% of farmers in the UK were women, up from 7% in 2008. In higher education courses, women studying agricultural courses now outnumber men almost two to one, making up 64% of the 2018 graduates.
Times are changing in farming, let’s celebrate our female farmers and continue to empower and support each other!