By Kate Marchand, Provincial Agriculture Awareness Specialist
On March 8, International Women’s Day is celebrated globally in recognition of the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. It is a day worth celebrating in agriculture, as women continue to play a vital role in the success and growth of the sector. March also happens to be Rural Women’s Month in Saskatchewan – providing an opportunity for me to reflect on my experience as a woman in agriculture.
I grew up on a cash crop farm in south-western Ontario where I began helping out on the family farm at a young age. Throughout my childhood, I was surrounded by women who not only contributed to the family farm, but also served as board members of local organizations and were heavily involved in the local community. Having their leadership as an example, I became aware of the importance of volunteering from a very young age which I practiced throughout my youth and continue to do so serving on the leadership team for Saskatchewan Women in Agriculture (SK WIA).
Growing up with these types of role models has reinforced the importance of support and empowerment for women. When I heard about the SK WIA, I jumped at the opportunity to become involved with an organization whose mission and values perfectly align with my own. I am proud to be a part of the WIA leadership team, serving as the official volunteer coordinator for the organization.
However, not all women are fortunate to have role models or mentors in the agriculture industry. Across the country, women voice very similar concerns: lack of women in leadership roles to act as role models and a need for mentorship. SK WIA is a support for women who are trying to overcome these concerns.
SK WIA is a non-profit organization whose mission is to empower, support and connect women from across Saskatchewan’s agriculture industry. Their long term vision is to support women in order to improve the agriculture industry as a whole. SK WIA hosts capacity building events and networking events for women (and men) in the agriculture industry.
The theme for International Women’s Day is “#PressforProgress” which well suits the mission of Women in Ag. Now, more than ever, it is important that women are empowered to #PressforProgress and help advance the agriculture sector in Saskatchewan.
If you are interested in getting involved, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.womeninag.ca for more information.