2 July 2009
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry - Tony Burke
More women will be supported as leaders in agricultural industries with another $2 million in grants announced today by the Rudd Government under the Recognising Women Farmers initiative.
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Tony Burke announced the next round of funding for 47 grants, including for women in the veterinary, grain, sugar and dairy industries.
The first $1 million for 29 projects was announced last month.
Mr Burke said women were still not properly represented in leadership roles in the agriculture sector, such as paid management and board positions.
More than 52,000 women define themselves as farmers or farm managers yet they still occupy less than 20% of paid management and board positions in the agricultural sector.
“We are determined to help correct the balance and support women’s ideas to strengthen their leadership skills,” Mr Burke said.
“In 18 months, we have increased the representation of women on our rural research and development corporation boards from 20% to 43%.
“I didn’t accept that these selections were being made on merit, given the representation of women was so low.
“The Department had always supported conferences and other gatherings, but under the previous system for distributing funding most support went to conferences attended largely by men.
“The role of women in leading their communities should not be underestimated.”
The grants are part of Australia’s Farming Future, which is helping the farming sector boost productivity and adapt to climate change.
Mr Burke also recently announced $50,000 for a new mentoring project for women living in rural and remote areas, to be coordinated through the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation.
A full list of the grants is available at www.daff.gov.au/recognisingwomenfarmers