Female farmers in the Central West could help change agriculture

9 JUNE 2022

Female farmers in the Central West could help change agriculture

Female farmers from the Central West are encouraged to participate in a series of Charles Sturt research events that will help get more women's perspectives on solutions an outcomes in the agriculture industries.

  • Female farmers are encouraged to participate in Charles Sturt research events in Parkes

A Charles Sturt University PhD student is inviting female farmers to participate in two research events in July to assist the ways in which women can influence the agriculture industry.

Charles Sturt student Ms Linda Wirf (pictured, second image) is completing her PhD ‘ Beyond adoption: gendered knowledges in agricultural practice change in Australia’ with a scholarship from the Cooperative Research Centre for High Performance Soils (the Soil CRC).

Ms Wirf has lived most of her life on the land and she said the concept of a female farmer is part of her history and psyche.

“I have experienced many of the phenomena that impact farmers and their land management decisions, both the good times as well as bushfires, drought, floods, isolation, feral animals and invasive weeds,” she said.

“My interest in this research is shaped by my belief in the need for agriculture to be more sustainable and I believe that women farmers have a key role to play in this transition.”

Linda WirfMs Wirf’s understanding of the importance of gender roles, and of including women’s and men’s perspectives on conservation and resource management, was deepened through working on her master’s degree with Anmatyerre women in Central Australia.

For her PhD research, Ms Wirf hopes to assist farmers to create a space for transformation in agriculture practice by including women’s knowledge and perspectives. She has already gained insight from a number of women and men farmers individually.

Ms Wirf’s research is part of a Soil CRC social benchmarking project that has surveyed farmers in Central West NSW and she is now seeking women farmers to participate in focus group and World Café sessions at the end of July.

A focus group will be held at the Parkes Community Centre on Wednesday 27 July from 10am to 12pm. Morning tea will be provided. The focus group session will bring together a small group of women for guided discussion.

A World Café session will be held at the Parkes Community Centre on Thursday 28 July from 10am to 1pm. A shared lunch following the session will provide an opportunity to network and talk further.

The World Café session involves up to 20 female farmers working together in smaller groups to share ideas about their views and attitudes on agriculture outreach (field days, seminars, etc).

Women farmers are invited to register for one or both sessions and all women farmers are welcome. Registrations close at the end of June.

Ms Wirf is based at Charles Sturt with co-supervision from Southern Cross University. For more information or to be part these events, contact Ms Wirf on lwirf@csu.edu.au.

Media Note:

To arrange interviews with Ms Linda Wirf, contact Nicole Barlow at Charles Sturt Media on 0429 217 026 or news@csu.edu.au

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