Dairy women form new support network
The launch of the Dumfries and Galloway initiative, which aims to help and support women working in the dairy industry, got off to a roaring start last week.
The Dumfries and Galloway Dairy Women’s Network was set up by dairy farmer Tracey Roan, Boreland of Colvend Farm, and supported by NFU Scotland Dumfries and Galloway Regional Manager Teresa Dougall.
The meeting was well attended with more than 20 women from the industry getting along to the Laurie Arms, Haugh of Urr, to share their experience and expertise.
As well as Tracey and Teresa, those in attendance included Gemma Cooper of NFUS; Heather Wildman from Saviour Associates and Stella Milsom, Dumfries and Galloway Health and Wellbeing in the Farming Community project co-ordinator.
The group consisted of farmers’ wives and partners, farm workers, vets, agri consultants - the business experience around the table was extraordinary and allowed for excellent discussion - with many volunteering assistance and venues for future events.
The group is open to all women, of all ages, in agriculture but it is primarily concentrated on dairy in the Dumfries and Galloway area.
The focus of the meeting was to decide on what the purpose of the group is going to be and what they would like to see achieved in the future.
Decisions were made to organise regular training, farm visits, meetings and social events to take place across the region and sometimes beyond.
Tracey Roan, who has been featured in the recent tv programme ‘This Farming Life’, said: “What a great turn out for the first meeting. It was really positive and encouraging to have a room full of ladies who wanted to hear more about the Dumfries and Galloway Dairy Women Network.
“With the meeting being very informal, it allowed everyone the opportunity to chat about what they would like to get out from the network and there is certainly going to be plenty meetings planned for the coming months from practical, hands-on farm calf signal training to office-based book keeping and office management. There will be something for everyone.
“We would like to thank everyone who came along and also to the Laurie Arms for hosting us.”
Teresa Dougall, NFUS Regional Manager for Dumfries and Galloway, said: “NFU Scotland are delighted to be supporting Tracey and the network in moving forward. It was fantastic to see such a good turnout at the first meeting with positivity and ideas coming through for its future.
“The background of experience around the table was fantastic and can only help this network to grow from strength to strength.”