Farm leaders focus on welcoming women

Farm News Review – By Scott Stevenson
Farm leaders focus on welcoming women

Industry efforts grow to be more gender inclusive

Local Journalism Initiative

Agricultural leaders are sensitive to the industry’s gender imbalance these days and trying to improve its image, at least. The farm world has been slow to recognize and share leadership with women.

Both the Quebec Farmers’ Advocate and the Terre de Chez Nous recently reported on the new head of the Canadian Dairy Commission, Jennifer Hayes of the Gaspé, highlighting her gender.

“The farmer thus becomes the first woman to reach this position,” said the Terre in its Jan. 12 issue, a comment echoed by the Advocate’s Daniel Sucar in the January edition of that newspaper’s front-page story.

On page seven of the same issue, editor-in-chief Brenda O’Farrell wrote about Stephanie Levasseur, the new vice-president of the Union des Producteurs Agricoles (UPA). “Although she is not the first woman to take on that role, she is the first to be an agricultural producer from the horticultural sector to sit on the… executive.”

Our emphasis on these and other such firsts speaks to how far we have yet to go in correcting the imbalance in farming, which carries on in the shadow of our patriarchal past.

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