The Women in Agriculture Stakeholders Group (WASG) met with Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Martin Heydon, to discuss issues surrounding recognition for women in agriculture.

Inclusivity for women in agriculture, succession, the need to increase the number of young women in agricultural courses, and CAP policies were among the topics covered during the engagement.

WASG chair, Hannah Quinn-Mulligan said: “Minister Heydon spoke very movingly about the work that his own mother did on the family farm and there is no doubt that he understands both the valuable input that women have on farms and also the need to increase formal recognition of their work.

“Previous research has shown that just 10% of [places on] Teagasc courses are filled by women and while the gender balance is more equally split in agricultural science for level eight degrees, women tend to opt for more industry-focused specialties.

“This highlights the major succession issue on farms, where enthusiastic, young women have little expectation of inheriting land but still have a passion for farming and commit to a career in agriculture.

“It’s time these young women were given equal consideration when it comes to inheriting land.”

Quinn-Mulligan concluded by saying it was a positive first meeting and it was heartening to see the Department’s continued support for women in agriculture.