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‘Ranching Women’ webinar showcases women in agriculture

‘Ranching Women’ webinar showcases women in agriculture
Agriculture is a vast industry with many layers, from livestock to grain farming and hay fields. As Quinn Campbell reports, a webinar focusing on grass management and responsible farming practices was hosted online specifically for women involved in the agriculture sector in southern Alberta.

Lacey Gould runs a mixed farming and cattle operation in central Alberta alongside her husband and his family. They are fourth-generation farmers with a lot of knowledge to share and a very diverse business that’s home to more than 1,000 head of cattle, farmland and a bison herd.

Gould was the perfect fit to be a guest speaker for Ranching Women, a webinar hosted by the Alberta Range Stewardship Course and the Southern Alberta Grazing School for Women committees.

“The biggest thing about being a farmer is if the land’s not working well for you, you are not doing well, so it’s about working together,” Gould said.

Read more: Canadian ranchers and feedlots worried about future impact of COVID-19

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual Southern Alberta Grazing School For Women event was moved online, giving women the opportunity to connect, share knowledge and network, despite the events new format.

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“It’s a very comfortable position, especially to talk about things and to talk to other women and women doing things. It’s just really helpful,” said Gould.

“We are focusing on women for this, but at the same time I feel that women bring a lot and we are always in the background.”

Gould’s presentation touched on information about her family’s operation and best practices they’ve found in their 100 years of farming and ranching — information that’s beneficial to anyone in the agriculture industry.

Gould said the webinar also gave her the opportunity to share her experiences of being a female farmer.

“A lot of times the raising of the kids is also put on the woman,” she said.

“We don’t just look after a farm, sometimes we are also doing the traditional stuff as well as managing and looking after a farm.”

The Farming Frontier: The challenges and stereotypes for women in agriculture
The Farming Frontier: The challenges and stereotypes for women in agriculture

Norine Ambrose, executive Director of Cows and Fish, also known as the Alberta Riparian Habitat Management Society, said the webinar is a good tool to showcase the work being done by women in the agriculture industry.

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“You want it to be relevant and you want it to have an impact and if you learn something or if you’re going to take away something you can use at home, that’s our goal,” Ambrose said.

“This is an opportunity to showcase those success stories, those strong and evolved women who are doing a lot, like an amazing amount of things and give them that opportunity,” added Ambrose.

Grazing Schools For Women is also hosting a webinar on Thursday focusing on mental health in agriculture. You can sign up to watch live or get more information here.