New NFU President Minette Batters-Being Female Shouldn’t Come into It

History has been made this week with the first female being elected as President of the National Farming Union.

Much has been made of it.

Farming is still a very male-dominated industry.

For just over a year, I have been trying to highlight the brilliant jobs women do in the industry in my Women In Farming features but only this week, a feed merchant came in the yard and asked me if the boss was around.

I told him he was looking at her.

It was a joke. I am a farmer’s wife in the traditional sense but I hope that when my children are a little older, I will take more of an active role-more than the goat, hens and orphan lambs I look after now.

I also hope that should any of my children-my daughter or sons, decide to turn to farming that they do so with the love in their heart rather than what gender they are.

The truth is that I wish I didn’t have to write this. That a woman being made President of the NFU was immaterial. The first time in 110 years is a big deal though and the truth is that as a society, women are still behind men in terms of pay and other types of discrimination.

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Minette Batters is a beef farmer and she has tried to play down the gender card. I don’t blame her. She got where she has because of her determination, had work and her expertise-nothing to do with her being a woman.

One of the big things she wishes to address in her presidency is food and farm education and this is something I am passionate about too.

In a piece in The Telegraph this week, Minette says she hopes that we will get to a time when the fact that a woman is leading a farming organisation stops being a news story about women, and starts being a story about the success that is the British food and farming industry.

“That is my mission and I want to seize every chance to showcase and celebrate the work of British farmers and the food we produce,” she said.

What an inspirational story for all the female farmers out there. You can do it. It might be more of a winding road to get there but we can change that, in time.

Male or female in this industry, we all have a common ground. Make the world see the amazing job that British farmers do. Where animal welfare and care for the environment go hand in hand and we produce the most amazing food.

Oh and if Ms Batters gets to hear about my little blog, she is very welcome to take part in my Women in Farming section.

Hurrah for British farming.


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