From our experience working with over 730 farmer groups, we can safely say the unsung driving force of so many collaborative farming arrangements are women. They may not always be visible, but every day women are doing the essential and complex work of building trusted networks for thriving rural and regional communities.
It’s not something we bang on about, but it’s worth noting that the Farming Together team is an all-woman powerhouse.
Recently, on International Women’s Day, we celebrated all women and made a special mention to three collaborative women for their work empowering women in farming communities.
Diana is CEO of Central West Farming Systems which is an independent, not-for-profit, farmer-driven organisation based at Condobolin, NSW. Very few people understand drought through the lens of gender equality as well as Diana.
Diana is a Board Member of Regional Development Australia Central West and is passionate about increasing the economic, environmental, and social opportunities in rural and regional Australia.
On top of this, Diana has been chosen as one of 12 outstanding women with skills and a vision for agriculture that has been selected for the National Farmers’ Federation’s 2020 Diversity in Agriculture Leadership Program.
She regularly runs programs and workshops designed to remove barriers for rural women to gain access to agricultural education, decision-making, commodity marketing, financial literacy, and job opportunities. The Central West farming community is truly lucky to have a collaborator like Diana.
Deborah is a born communicator and collaborator who uses her skills for a fairer and more regenerative food system within her local community.
Deborah is an ecologist and researcher of local food systems. She is deeply involved and active in community development and transformational change, and has over ten years’ experience in community facilitation and activating volunteer organisations.
Deborah co-founded and is Executive Officer of
Food Next Door Co-op, a not-for-profit co-operative based in Mildura working to connect landless farmers from migrant and refugee backgrounds with under-utilised land to grow diverse crops, and steers day-to-day operations as well as strategic aspects of their growth.
Food Next Door also runs Out of the Box, a local food project working to grow our small-scale regenerative growers, and to connect local small-scale producers and local buyers, who want access to good, clean, fair food.
One of our own! Amanda is the unsung powerhouse of the Farming Together team, who lives and breathes collaboration. In fact, she is completing a PhD on the subject. Amanda is a ‘pracademic’ who bridges academia and farming practice to translate evidence-based research into widespread on-ground action.
She loves bringing out the hidden strengths within farming groups and sees that women’s strengths are so often key to successful collaborative models. As a collaboration expert, Amanda has expertise in Social Network Mapping and Analysis which was key to the success of the Farming Together Pilot which helped 730 farmer groups and 30,000 individual farmers.