Feed Your Future event encourages young women to seek careers in agriculture
CALGARY -- It’s designed to ensure the next generation of young women are educated, inspired and empowered to take on the challenges of the agriculture industry.
“We want to show young women of all backgrounds that agriculture is not just primary production,” said Agriculture for Life CEO Luree Williamson. “It’s not just farming but all across the value chain and the importance of having women in such an essential role.”
Feed Your Future was designed to showcase the many opportunities available in the agriculture sector and offer a chance for young females to connect with individuals in the industry. It’s for young women ages 14 and up and the free event will take place on Feb. 3, 2021.
In a 2015 Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council (CAHRC) study, only eight out of the 65 Canadian agricultural associations surveyed had a woman as their board chair or president and only 28 per cent had at least one woman on their board.
“If we can continue to have some really smart, engaging young women come into the industry and mentoring them and guiding them to move and grow their careers we’ll see that stat change pretty dramatically I would think,” said Williamson.
Janice Tranberg is the president and CEO of the Alberta Cattle Feeders Association. She’s one of the presenters for the online event and has an extensive career path that’s lead to her role today.
Tranberg remembers the early days of heading the male-dominated organization.
“When I first started I would go to a meeting and often count the number of women in the room and in a meeting of 50 there might be two women,” said Tranberg. “Now in a meeting of 50 there’s certainly at least a dozen to 20 so that’s pretty darn good.”
Tranberg says it’s important to have confidence in yourself and your abilities to lead.
“And once you showed them you know your stuff they listened, they’re really good and they respect you,” said Tranberg. “So that would be my advice, don’t be shy, go in there, but once you get their respect, you’ve got it.”
Participants will hear from industry leaders and distinguished professionals as they explore the topics of physical and mental wellness, brand building as well as personal development in the areas of education and career choices.
17-year-old Brooklyn Harrison heard about Feed Your Future from a friend. The Calgarian is an avid gardener and has family in farming. She’s looking for some advice from the speakers.
“I want to go into animal bio-science to work with farm animals” said Harrison. “So it seemed like a nice step to get some more information about what I’d be going into.”
Ag for Life hoped for 30 young women to sign up for the event but to date 110 have registered. Learn more about Feed Your Future here: www.agricultureforlife.ca/feed-your-future