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Renfrew’s TractHER Day to return in 2024.

A local tragedy involving farm equipment provided the spark for an event in Canada to help farm women feel more confident about operating farm machinery, especially in emergency situations.

TractHER Day was created by Angela Field and held last July in Renfrew, Ontario, Canada. It was designed to give women in agriculture an opportunity to explore and learn to operate farm equipment in a safe space. It would allow them to become comfortable with moving, operating, or simply turning the machines on or off in an emergency.

“A friend lost her husband suddenly from a farm accident where she was unable to assist because she and her teenage children did not know how to operate the equipment,” Field explained. “It was devastating to the family and the community and spurred me to bring this up once I joined the Renfrew Federation of Agriculture.”

The Renfrew Federation of Agriculture is one of 51 county and regional federations across the province supported by the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA), and Field recently served as president. Renfrew Federation of Agriculture represents the voice of agriculture in the local community and advocates on behalf of Renfrew County farm families on local agricultural issues. OFA is the largest general farm organization in Ontario, representing 38,000 farm family members across the province.

Access and instruction

TractHER Day was for women who live and/or work on farms and, for whatever reason, may not be comfortable around farm equipment, Field said. “I also personally know many women who stress that they cannot learn or be taught by their husbands or fathers or bosses and were looking for anyone to instruct them.”

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