Women’s Grower Study Tour 2014-2016
The 2015 Women in Horticulture Industry Leadership and Development Mission provided an opportunity for eight leading female vegetable levy payers to visit innovative vegetable growing operations, processors, research facilities, the world-famous Agritechnica trade show and other industry representatives in the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland and Germany. The two-week mission was funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited (HIA) using the National Vegetable Levy, voluntary contributions from vegetable growing operations and funds from the Australian Government. The key objective of the mission was to provide an opportunity for leading women in the Australian vegetable industry to gain a unique insight into new farming methods, equipment, technologies and strategies currently being used in European horticulture. As emerging leaders in their own right, the participants had ample opportunities throughout the mission to learn from their European counterparts as well as each other, and identify areas of improvement for their own farms. Importantly, the mission also recognised the pivotal role that women play in the Australian vegetable industry and allowed participants to develop networks and discuss mutual areas of interest. The group consisted of a diverse range of participants representing five Australian states and they each held a different role within their respective businesses, from co-owners and business support roles to on-farm responsibilities in production and agronomy. This allowed participants to share and discuss their diverse range of knowledge and experience and ultimately learn from each other.