To mark the 150th anniversary of Canada’s Confederation, the host of Advancing Women in Agriculture Conference, Iris Meck, is inviting Canadians to celebrate farm women and their contribution to the growth of the country.
“Many important industries have contributed to the expansion and success of this country, and agriculture is one of the most prominent and earliest,” says Iris Meck, founder of the Advancing Women in Agriculture Conferences, and advocate for recognizing and supporting women in agriculture across Canada. “Within our industry, we wanted to recognize the significant contribution of farm women.”
Meck announced a new program at the 4th annual Advancing Women in Agriculture Conference in Calgary today. She invited the women in the room, and others across Canada’s agricultural industry, to share their photos and stories of farm women throughout the 150 years of Canada’s history on social media using the hashtag #Canada150FarmWomen.
“Farm women have, from the beginning, been partners, owners and innovators on Canada’s farms of yesterday and today,” Meck explains. “So many Canadian women run successful family farms, have direct ties to a farming past, or were raised on a farm. We want to celebrate these women and the often-overlooked contribution they have made to the development of our country.”
The most recent Canadian census data, collected in 2011, shows 36.5 per cent of Canadian farm operators as women. Farm families are important economic and social contributors to Canada’s rural communities across the country. The impact of women farmers, producers, ranchers, chefs, scientists, agri-business employees – and more – has extended far beyond the agricultural sector.
“Women have been the backbone of Canadian farms and families,” Meck says. “They were the ones who held the families together and inspired future generations by their work ethic and determination to put their many skills to use. This is something that continues today, and I am certain the recognition of women in agriculture will only grow in the future.”
To share stories and photos of Canadian women in farming, Meck encourages Canadians to post on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram until December 30, 2017 using the hashtag #Canada150FarmWomen. Those not using social media are invited to email firstname.lastname@example.org and submit their stories and photos for inclusion on a special Canada 150 section of the Advancing Women in Agriculture Conference website.