Ladies in Livestock groups continue to grow

November 23, 2017

Women are taking the wheel with both hands when it comes to self-empowerment and education on-farm with the expansion of the Northern Tablelands Local Land Services Ladies in Livestock program.  Launched in September 2016 by the Local Land Services Sustainable Ag team, the first Guyra-based meeting drew women from across the region.

The program, funded through the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program, delivers handson, practical skills to women as independent land stewards with a keen interest in agriculture, to work and make decisions on properties.

Local Landcare Service Women's GroupsTo meet the growing and widespread interest, new Ladies in Livestock groups have been established and are now flourishing in Inverell, Tenterfield, and Walcha.

Northern Tablelands Local Land Services Officer Phoebe Haslett has been coordinating the Walcha group, which is already 40-strong. The group draws a diverse range of women with various experiences. “The ladies really want to get down to the nitty-gritty and have some very technical questions,” Phoebe said. Topics range widely from animal health and management, marketing options, financial planning, paddock preparation, pasture selection and identification, weed identification and biosecurity management.

The program provides a supportive learning space for women who may feel less inclined to ask technical questions during mixed field days or workshops. “This is what it’s about; women supporting women. There’s definitely a social aspect as well. Some ladies are quite isolated, but they all said they had come to learn, and they wanted to learn more”, Phoebe said.

Each group is tailored to the majority interest and production of that district. “The presenters are knowledgeable, interesting and engaging – we were all learning while having fun,” Walcha group member Sonia O’Keefe said.

Phoebe said at their first Walcha meeting in August, they were proud to host Margie Doak, a local woman who lost the use of her legs in a farming accident. “You could have heard a pin drop,” Phoebe said. The group was captivated by Margie’s story, from her long treatment in Sydney, so far from home, and how her acquired disability has not stopped her climbing on her quad bike, managing her stock and keeping up with her life on the farm.

The Ladies in Livestock groups are open to any women. Meeting frequency is decided by each group and timing is considered to allow for school runs and school holidays. “We want to make this as accessible as possible to any lady on the land,” Phoebe said.

If you are interested in joining a group please contact Phoebe Haslett on 0417 840 369 or