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Shining Stars in Agriculture ‑Yvonne Thyssen‑Post
We recently chatted with several women, working in a variety of roles in agriculture. We asked these women the same questions, learning about their experiences and opinions as they contribute to the industry.
The Importance: Why not? Women play a significant role in the industry and we need other women to acknowledge that, and work with them. Agriculture, at the grass roots level, is still a family business, where women are involved as owners and significant contributors. Mothers/women, for the most part, are still the center of the family unit, and they still tend to have the greatest influence on food purchases and food consumption in the household.
- Women also bring a different perspective and different skill set; often stronger in the soft skills - communications, understanding the family dynamics, often the family peace maker; and they tend to have a strong business sense. Women are also extremely creative, often providing a unique perspective to an industry with narrow margins.
Inspriation: I love the industry and working with people who have devoted their lives to it. I had an early introduction to agriculture, growing up on a dairy and poultry farm. My parents immigrated to this country shortly after they were married because they wanted to have the opportunity to farm and Canada had lots of land, opportunity for farmers. They worked hard and that probably has led to the respect I have for those who work in this industry.
Misconception: Women are just as capable as men of running a farm business, but they are often behind the scenes. Women are not necessarily part of the ownership, but that doesn’t reflect on their actual contribution! The owner is often the one that is interviewed, seen at meetings, the face of the business. The saying ‘behind every successful man there is a successful woman – still applies to a lot of farm family businesses.
A Advice: In my opinion, there is no other career that is more important than food production. Now I may be a bit biased but food is still essential for human life, we need to eat and if we have quality healthy food we can reduce the impact on our health care system and we have the ability to be educated and live productive lives. There is no field that is more important, and it is a vibrant and exciting profession.