Agri women go west for wellie wisdom

“Just as a wellie boot is made up of thousands of individual threads that are woven together, we need to be the supporting fabric as women – and for women.”

That was the key message delivered by the Chairperson of the West Women in Farming Ireland (WWFI) group, Martina Calvey, at an event in Claregalway, on Sunday evening last, June 25.

Women working across all areas of agriculture from around the country gathered for the ‘Wine, Women and Wellies’ soiree.

The informal social gathering was hosted by WWFI – part of the national movement, Women in Farming Ireland (WFI) – in The Arches Hotel, Claregalway.

Women involved in farming; agri-business; journalism; veterinary nursing; education and research; innovation tech and industry, all got together for the event.

Shedding light on the make-up of a wellington, to summarise the movement’s objectives, Calvey said:

We need to bond together, and build strong inter-relationships, as well as social, personal and working relationships.

“We also need to become the fabric of thousands of threads, all depending on, and supporting the other. We are the most important part of the wellie.

“If we can do that, it means we move together, we take steps together and eventually run together, racing to the finish line, through the ribbon on every issue we identify, that needs to be fixed for women in the agricultural world in Ireland.”

A survey was issued to help identify and address the needs and the obstacles from the perspective and experience of those present. The results will assist and inform the future plans of the WWFI group.

The importance of engaging with the group’s social media sites, and in face-to-face interaction, was stressed at the gathering,

Vice-Chairperson, Events Officer, and local woman, Mona O Donoghue-Concannon, said it was encouraging to see a good turnout from the surrounding area, and to gain new members.

Other committee members include: Ciara Shields; Martina Egan; Catherina Cunnane; Roberta McDonald; Rachel Leonard; Leona Leonard; Niamh Garvey; and Paula Mullen.

WWFI will continue to make plans ahead of the next public meeting, scheduled for Saturday, September, 7 at a location to be confirmed.

The group aims to host more events, in a bid to reach as many women as possible.

WWFI ambassadors will attend various agricultural events over coming months, with details posted on the group’s social media accounts.

A monthly newsletter is issued by the group. Sign-up here to join the database. Email: [email protected]