Developing skills and leadership

Building leadership skills in the Horticulture Industry

The Women in the Horticulture Industry Leadership Building Conference was established to provide women in the industry with new skills and to build their confidence, with the overall aim of encouraging them to become more involved in their local and national farming communities. The two-day conference was held in Adelaide on March 21 & 22 with a program tailored to suit the needs and interests of the 12 participants.

Day One was spent touring sites throughout the Northern Adelaide Plains vegetable growing region, while Day Two was spent participating in a number of presentations from industry experts on everything from market access to leadership skills. Some of the highlights listed by the participants were a presentation from South Australian Nuffield Scholar Steve Newman (Hills Fresh, Gumeracha), a tour of a high-tech glasshouse at Virginia and an interactive presentation on social media and its potential application in the horticulture industry.

The women were surveyed following the conference and were asked what the horticulture industry could do to encourage them to participate more in leadership roles and the horticulture industry as a whole. The greatest challenge identified by the women was finding a balance between family and work commitments.

The conference participants had the following suggestions to make it easier for women to take part in more horticulture industry training and events: more online delivery methods for training, provide plenty of notice of events to help with planning, and more localised/regional workshops to cut down on travel time or time away from home.

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SOIL TESTING WORKSHOP: Noel Johnston from Arris teaches the group how to undertake a number of simple soil tests to help them learn more about the properties of their own soil.