The inaugural meeting of the Barryroe Co-op/Carbery Female Farming Seminar brought together women in agriculture to share experiences, tips, ideas and success stories.

The event, which was held in Timoleague Hall, Co. Cork on Thursday, June 20 was intended to create a morning of “insightful discussions, networking and empowerment” among women in agriculture.

Farmer and member of the Barryroe board, Caroline O’Donovan said that it is a “positive” time to be a woman involved in agriculture.

She added that the event was organised to encourage women to come together and support each other in their “crucial” roles.

New chair of Barryroe Co-op, Michael Sexton said:

“It was great to have the opportunity to support this event, and I hope that it can be continued in Barryroe, and be an inspiration for many more like it.

“We all know that women are the backbone of many of our farms, and farming would not be possible without the support of the whole family in many cases.”

Deputy president of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA), Alice Doyle spoke about how “women were left behind” when PRSI contributions were made, which left many with short falls to their pensions.

She added that the IFA and the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association (ICMSA) are only “a phone call away” when or if problems arise.

Bord Bia inspection helpdesk, Noreen Casey brought the attendees through a “typical inspection” and how some paperwork can be cut back on.

Many of the women who attended the meeting were worried about summer scour in calves and Emma Hanley from Glasslyn Vets was there to answer their questions.

Women in agriculture

Meanwhile, a Fine Gael senator has called for a debate in the Seanad on how to increase the number of women in agriculture in Ireland.

Senator Tim Lombard made the comments ahead of an inaugural meeting of the Barryroe Co-op/Carbery Female Farming focused on female farmers.

He said that around 27% of the nearly 280,000 people working on farms in Ireland are female.

Senator Lombard said that the seminar in Cork should be replicated around the country, as he believes this is an issue which is “crucial for the future sustainability of farming and the wider agri-food sector”.