The Dryandra branch of Women in Farming will host this year’s annual Women in Farming seminar at the Pingelly Recreation and Cultural Centre on September 14 and all women involved in the agricultural industry are invited to attend. “Women in Farming was established in Lake Varley in 2009 with a small group of women keen to come together to share farm management challenges and focus on learning from each other,” Dryandra branch secretary Simone Lansdell said. “There are now 11 branches of Women in Farming in WA.” “Each year the Women in Farming Board asks a different branch to host the annual seminar and the Dryandra branch is excited for this event.” The Dryandra branch was formed in 2017 and is made up of members from towns including Cuballing, Popanyinning, Pingelly, Wickepin, Highbury and Williams. The theme of the seminar is Finding your place, something that can be challenging in an industry where work and home are one. With the rapidly changing nature of the agricultural industry in regard to technology, regulation and compliance, Ms Lansdell said that the seminar would provide attendees with information relevant to women in agriculture at all stages of life. “Seminar provides an opportunity for networking amongst members, sponsors and presenters to learn new information relevant to women in the agricultural industry,” she said. “Wherever the attendees are in their farming and career timeline, working on farm or off-farm, new to farming, been around forever or still working it out, we aim to provide a wealth of information and inspiration to help them find their place.” Succession will be a focus of the September seminar as well as a discussion about the many roles women can have on farms that are sometimes overlooked. “An industry representative, a woman, rang up the other day and asked if she could speak to the farmer,” Dryandra branch of Women in Farming president Eliza Dowling said. “I said ‘well, yes, I’m the joint farmer’ but she would only speak to the male farmer — I was quite taken aback. “Women have such a crucial role to play in the farming business, it can be so varied, depending on the individual and Industry really needs to recognise that.” Having worked for the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development for 23 years, when Ms Dowling came back to the farm about five years ago she soon found herself taking on a much more active role. “We set up a branch of Women in Farming a few months after I resigned and it was such a great help in gaining the knowledge and skills I needed to get our farm up to speed, particularly in the areas of compliance, WHS and HR,” she said. “There is such a wide range of skills, knowledge and experience in our branch, let alone across the whole Women in Farming membership.” Seminar tickets for Women in Farming members go on sale on July 19 and further information can be found by visiting womeninfarming.org.au.