Farming women are invited to a farm walk and demonstration of regenerative agriculture in practice, as well as a talk from renowned farmer Abi Reader about her journey to incorporate trees in a way which boosts farm business profitability.
The Farm of the Future Women’s Day is being delivered by Innovation for Agriculture (IfA) as part of The Royal Agricultural Society of England (RASE) Farm of the Future series of events. The day will be free to attend and will take place at FarmED, Oxfordshire, on 31 August, 2023.
Deborah Crossan, head of soils and natural resources at IfA, shares that the event will showcase solutions to strike the balance between production of nutritious food, provision of environmental benefits through farm management and ensuring a profitable farm business.
“In addition to providing insights into how regenerative agriculture systems can increase farm efficiency and profitability, this event is intended to provide an opportunity specifically for farming women to take a break from the day-to-day farm routine and garner new ideas for their farm business,” she says.
Ms Crossan explains the need for a regenerative farming event for women. “There’s a discrepancy between the gender split of those working on farms and that of farmers attending events,” she says.
“In 2016, Defra reported that women make up 55% of the agricultural workforce in England and Wales, if unpaid and family labour is included. IfA has been regularly delivering farm walks and demonstration events since our launch nearly ten years ago. Our events are well-attended, but there is undeniably a bias with typically at least 80% of attendees being men.
“This event is a first step in addressing the discrepancy in the regenerative farming space, by providing an opportunity for farming women to come together to see and discuss solutions for their farms,” she adds.
Sophie Wilkinson, event coordinator at FarmED, shares that attendees of the event can expect to see a variety of regenerative agriculture approaches in practice during the farm walk.
“Attendees will find out how the farm’s management approach provides opportunities to lower input costs, increase biodiversity, rural employment and resilience to climate instability, and improve livestock health,” she says.
“We hope that seeing what we are doing here will spark ideas and discussions, around how these regenerative practices could be implemented in different systems or at different scales,” she adds.
The keynote speaker of the day, Ms Reader, will talk about the approaches she is taking on-farm to sequester carbon through incorporation of trees, and how these trees will provide a diversified income to increase the overall resilience and profitability of the farm business.
“I’m delighted to be speaking at the Farm of the Future Women’s Day. It’ll be a fantastic opportunity to meet with other farming women and share my experience, but also to learn from others farming in different environments and managing different enterprises,” she says.
To attend the Farm of the Future Women’s Day email firstname.lastname@example.org to request a sign-up link. Attendees are welcome to bring their children to attend a free programme of farm school activities which will run alongside the event.