2019 Women and Youth in Agriculture Conference – ‘Resilience and Renewal’

2019 Women and Youth in Agriculture conference a great success

The CWFS 2019 Women and Youth in Agriculture Conference – ‘Resilience and Renewal’ was held on Wednesday 27 March 2019 at the Condobolin Agricultural Research Station to a record crowd of 160 people.  With perfect autumn weather, the crowd enjoyed a marquee on the lawn of the Ag Station; with a high number of industry stakeholders and local businesses providing stalls and displays.  It was great to see such widespread media coverage with ABC Radio’s ‘Country Hour’ promoting the day by broadcasting live from the Conference.

We were fortunate to have a variety of fabulous inspiring speakers including the Hon Sussan Ley, MP; former State Drought Co-ordinator, Pip Job; Vanessa Bell of Sarah Jane Bond (merino products); Ginny Stevens from Active Farmers; Hamish Munro from Pairtree Intelligence and industry speakers from GrainGrowers; MLA; AWB, ADM, Rabobank; GrainCorp; Tocal College; NSW DPI and Sheep Connect.  Our keynote speaker was the renowned comedian, Fiona O’Loughlin, who grew up in rural Australia and has a strong connection with rural life.

Hon Sussan Ley MP shares a story of determination

The Hon Sussan Ley MP shared with us her inspiring story of determination. Don’t let the world around you decide what’s possible for you. Believe in yourself with unshakable faith and commit to your goals!

Pip Job speaks at the conference
Comedian Fiona O’Loughlin with Diana Fear

Former State Drought Coordinator Pip Job reminded us of the importance of identifying your cheer squad. Who’s your greatest supporter?
Know who they are and where they are so that when opportunity knocks you have the courage to open the door!

Vanessa Bell of Sarah Jane Bond Merino products discussed her vision of consumers who are excited to share the journey with producers.
Digital story telling provides an outstanding platform to provide consumers with insight into a lifestyle they normally wouldn’t have access to.
Education can empower consumers to make informed decisions.

A panel session focusing on agricultural marketing was facilitated by Josh Gordon NSW DPI International Engagement Unit followed morning tea with a lively discussion with Michael Vaughan, ADM; Izzi Hutchinson, GrainCorp; Josh Coulthurst, Rabobank; and Warren Lander, AWB.

Well known comedian, Fiona O’Loughlin,  had our crowd absolutely captivated and in fits of laughter as she demonstrated the essential qualities of a good story teller.  From what I have heard, Fiona also had a great time and is keen to come back to our community in the future.

The afternoon session kicked off with Ginny Stevens, sharing the origin story of Active Farmers. What a fantastic initiative Ginny has led, which helps combat the effects of isolation by fostering social connections that promote health and well-being in our farming communities.
Ginny’s session was followed with an introduction to a few of the amazing women advocating for our farmers in their industry roles.
Thank you to Lucy Durragh from GrainGrowers;  Fiona Young from Meat & Livestock Australia; Megan Rogers from Sheep Connect NSW and Estelle Cooper from Tocal College for all the work you do to promote and up skill Women and Youth in the Ag Industry!

Vanessa Bell of Sarah Jane Bond Merino
Hon Sussan Ley MP, John Medcalf – Mayor of Lachlan Shire Council, and Diana Fear – CEO of CWFS.


Our final speaker of the day was Hamish Munro from Pairtree Intelligence. He spoke about how to be a good Employee-preneur, by making your interests and passions add value to the work you already do. Pairtree was developed as a solution to the “data-overload” problem Hamish identified as a result of the current AgTech revolution.

CWFS would like to thank all the sponsors of the Conference, this day would not be able to happen without your support.  I would also like to acknowledge and thank the CWFS staff for all their help and hard work prior, during and post-Conference. Last but not least, thank you to all of you who attended and helped make this year’s Conference bigger and better than ever before.