Conference took place in Toronto from October 5th to October 6th
By Diego Flammini, Farms.com
About 450 women, all professionals in agriculture, made their way to downtown Toronto for a two-day conference about women in the agricultural sector, challenges they face and strategies they can use to help move their careers along.
The conference was filled with many different speakers who shared their experiences and the steps they took to overcome challenges to become successful.
One of the women to do so was Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne.
“I’m honoured to be here,” the Premier said during her opening remarks. “You are leading the way forward and doing it in a sector that’s critical to the health and prosperity of our entire province.”
During her speech, Premier Wynne discussed the personal challenges she faced as she progressed through her career – first as the MPP for Don Valley West, as Minister of Agriculture, Transportation, Education, during her time as Premier, and how she was able to go forward when people were attempting to hold her back.
“I blocked out those voices,” she said. “They didn’t fit my understanding of what I was capable of and also didn’t fit with my understanding as who we are as Ontarians.”
Another speaker who shared her insight about the conference and women in agriculture was Caroline Emond, the current executive director of Dairy Farmers of Canada, and the first woman to hold that role.
“That gathering of women is so impressive and inspiring,” she said. “450 women that are involved in agriculture shows that there’s plenty of women in agriculture and that we forget about it.”
Other speakers throughout the conference included Dr. Marla Shapiro, who educated the attendees about how to be healthier and care for their bodies and minds, JoAnne Buth, CEO of Canadian International Grains Institute and Margaret Hudson, President of Burnbrae Farms, who discussed how to try and balance life and work, especially when the two intersect.
Be sure to visit Farms.com often as more videos and interviews from the 2015 Advancing Women in Agriculture Conference will be uploaded in the coming days.