Several Canadian women are doing great things in agriculture, a producer said
By Diego Flammini
As International Women’s Day is Friday, Farms.com reached out to Ontario’s ag community to talk about the importance of women in the industry and the effect they’re having on the sector.
Women need to understand they’re not alone in agriculture, said Kim Jo Bliss, a beef producer from the Rainy River District.
“One of the good things about social media is that it allows you to connect with people who share similar interests,” she told Farms.com. “Several women, like myself, are the sole operators of their farms and are having huge roles in daily operations.
“I’ve found it extremely comforting to be able to share information and interact with other women who are in the same position I am.”
Women hold key positions in the Canadian ag industry and that fact needs to be celebrated, she said.
Canada’s new ag minister Marie Claude-Bibeau is female and the Canadian Federation of Agriculture recently elected Mary Robinson as its new president.
Keystone Agricultural Producers in Manitoba recently hired Patty Rosher, a former policy director with Manitoba Agriculture, as its general manager. And Patti Miller is the chief commissioner of the Canadian Grain Commission.
Seeing women in those types of roles can go a long way in helping young girls aspire to be leaders in the ag industry, Bliss said.
“A gentleman I know who has two daughters hired a young girl to come work on his farm for six weeks,” Bliss said. “He told me the reason to hire a girl was to show his daughters that girls can do these jobs and any other jobs they want.
“I have two nieces and I can see that I instill that example to the point where they don’t say they can’t do something.”
Women should be proud to promote themselves as members of Canada’s ag industry.
Entering the sector with passion can have a greater effect than if your gender, said Lillian Drummond, a dairy producer from Lanark County.
“Dairy farming is what I love so it’s what I did,” she told Farms.com. “If women enjoy farming, then I tell them to go for it.”