NSW dairy women join forces

By Dairy News

NEW SOUTH Wales dairy farming women have joined forces for their first state conference in 20 years, but it won’t be so long until the next one.

The Bale Up Women in Dairy conference in October marked the culmination of the revival of local groups in the Mid North Coast, Barrington, Gloucester and Upper Hunter regions.

One of the organisers, Megan Nicholson, said the event was a great success.

“The first Women in Dairy conference was more than 20 years ago but it petered out for various reasons,” Mrs Nicholson said.

“The local groups reformed around the same time 18 months ago and were hosting local events but we decided to form a committee to get a state conference going again,” she said.

With funding from Department of Primary Industries and Hunter Local Land Services, the 2017 conference attracted 50 attendees to Balmoral Homestead at Muswellbrook.

“It was mostly attended by dairy farming women, which was pleasing,” Mrs Nicholson said.

The conference was opened by Sue McGinn and guest speaker was Lyn Sykes, both of whom were involved 20 years ago with Women in Dairy group.

There were education sessions on how to positively deal with social media, technology and automation in the dairy, mindfulness and managing the family business and the home.

“Everyone thought it was fabulous,” Mrs Nicholson said. “At the end everyone felt like we need to reconnect and do it annually so we’re planning another conference for 2018.”

Mrs Nicholson said the revival of Women in Dairy groups came at an opportune time.

“It has been difficult for the industry over a lot of areas in recent years and that was one of the reasons we reformed to support our own communities,” she said.

“The conference was great for dairy women to be able to get away from the farm and connect and network and support each other.”