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Count her in: women in red meat rise to industry challenges

08 March 2024

This International Women’s Day, we’re sharing the stories of some extraordinary women in the red meat industry and explore how they’re contributing to creative solutions on-farm.

The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is ‘Count Her In: Invest in Women. Accelerate Progress.’ – a stance that the Australian red meat and livestock industry stands firmly behind.

According to a report from Meat Business Women, women in the meat sector now make up:

  • 23% of board-level director roles (up from 14%)
  • 32% of high-level leadership roles (up from 22%)
  • 32% of middle manager roles (up from 29%).

Source: Inspire, Network, Grow: Gender Representation in the Meat Industry 2023

While positive shifts have been made since the initial report was published in 2020, work is ongoing in the sector to improve gender equality across all meat industries.

Over the past 25 years, MLA has invested in thousands of research and marketing projects led, facilitated and supported by women working across the red meat and livestock industry. Take a look at a few of the recent projects and learn how some of the female powerhouses of our industry are finding solutions to meet the biggest challenges on-farm.

Emily Stretch

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Emily is implementing a program of improvements on her family’s farm as a result of her involvement in the SheepLinks project, which looks into what the climate in her region might look like in 2030 and 2050. Read the full story: Future climates no stretch with resilient strategies

Ash Duncan and Jess Morton

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Sisters Ash and Jess, along with their husbands and parents, are working on a pasture improvement program to ensure the long-term sustainability of their property. The family hosted an MLA PayDirt North session, which has helped inform their decision making. Read the full story: Driving productivity from the ground up

Jillian Kelly

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Jillian Kelly founded her consultancy business in 2022 after almost 20 years as a production animal veterinarian in the private and government sectors. She also runs a side-line cattle trading business. Read the full story: Forward planning and livestock health key to getting through the dry

Kathryn Dawson

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Kathryn Dawson will use a new Goat Industry Capacity Building scholarship to travel to field days and conferences to share insights from her extensive research into goat parasite management. Read the full story: Scholarship to benefit goat industry

Bec Brayley

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Queensland goat producers have a new point of contact in Bec Brayley, a new small ruminant extension officer based at Charleville.

Supporting producers through their most challenging times has fuelled Bec’s passion for biosecurity and the livestock industry. Read the full story: Helping producers a privilege and learning opportunity

Tammy Kruckow

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Tammy runs MLA’s Profitable Grazing Systems (PGS) course, ‘Lead with Certainty’, where each participant gains valuable insights into who they want to be as a leader and how their personality and communication style meshes with those of their team members. Read the full story: Effective ways to create a positive team culture on-farm

Bec Donnelly

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Bec was the 2022 winner of Australian Lot Feeders’ Association (ALFA) Excellence in Feedlot Education Medal and believes that upskilling staff is a key route to increasing their confidence. She makes sure her staff know that she values each and every job they do at the feedlot. Read the full story: ALFA education medal winner committed to people-centred management

Lynley Anderson

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As the third generation of a pioneering sheep breeding family, WA producer Lynley Anderson is dedicated to producing resilient sheep which meet environmental challenges head-on and deliver on market expectations.

Read the full story: Robust flock drives resilience

Watch Lynley’s video: Anderson Rams