The Minister for Agriculture, Food and Marine, Charlie McConalouge has confirmed that the first National Women in Farming Conference will take place on February 1, 2023 and will be chaired by former Tánaiste and Minister for Agriculture, Mary Coughlan.

The forum has been established to “hear and amplify” the voices of women who are integral parts of family farms across the country, according to Minister of State for Land Use and Biodiversity, Pippa Hackett.

Minister Hackett said:

“Without women many farms could not and would not function. I’m in quite a unique position as a female farmer in the Department of Agriculture and I will be working very closely with Mary Coughlan in the run up to this conference.

“This conference is all about amplifying the voice of women in our sector.

“Agriculture is very much a male dominated world however the Department of Agriculture bucks that trend with half the workforce being women from upper management to clerical roles.”

Representation of women in farming

Minister Hackett stressed the need to see more female representation “across the board” in agriculture and said that females will soon “come to the fore” in state bodies, farm organisations and marts across the country.

Mary Coughlan, the only previous female Minister for Agriculture, said that she was delighted to have been invited to chair this dialogue.

She said:

“I have always appreciated the role that women have played and will continue to play in agriculture and the agri-food industry.

“This is going to be a dialogue that will involve women from all aspects of agriculture and beyond and we are very much looking forward to it.

“I believe there is a great enthusiasm out there already to participate in this conference and I would like to thank all of the ministers and the department for their support.

“I certainly hope that arising from this dialogue, we will be able to drive this matter as quickly and as honestly as possible.”