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Women help grow futures on farms

Finding a point of difference to make their product stand out proves an inspiration for women in agriculture, writes MANIKA DADSON.
Nanjing Night Net

SELBOURNE organic tomato and garlic grower Annette Reed has found her point of difference.

The 2014 Tasmanian Rural Woman of the Year said while many people grew tomatoes, she and her husband Nevil grew their 65 varieties of heirloom tomatoes in a frost-prone area and in the paddock.

‘‘We knew it would be hard to grow in a frost-prone area, but we chose to grow here because it’s our home,’’ she said.

‘‘That’s our challenge, but it’s also our selling point.’’

Finding a point of difference to make your product stand out is the one of the main inspirations Tasmanian women in agriculture have taken from the Small Farms, Big Ideas workshop over the past six months.

The fifth and last all-day workshop in the series will be held at Moorleah, near Wynyard, on Wednesday.

Mrs Reed said the workshop aimed to give women working on small farms inspiration.

‘‘It’s about building networks and getting people fired up about ideas, so that they go away buzzing,’’ Mrs Reed said.

‘‘It’s about building inspiration so that someone can think, if she can do this, then I can do this.

‘‘Whatever you do, don’t think it’s got to be huge and commodity based.

‘‘Tasmania has a great niche market and the opportunities that are opening up there are huge.’’

Mrs Reed said markets, like the Harvest Market, were a good way for producers to test their products.

She said it was also important that women knew what they were passion about and followed that.

‘‘You’re in for a hard slog and you have to love what you are doing,’’ she said.

Each Small Farms, Big Ideas workshop has featured five guest speakers.

Wednesday’s workshop will feature; Veronica Tahu, from Wattle Hill Olives; Andy Jackman, Red Cow Dairies; Annette Reed, Tasmanian Natural Garlic and Tomatoes; Dianne Dennis, [email protected] and Pip Sadler, Southern Bulbs.

The workshop will also include a farm tour of Southern Bulbs at Flowerdale.

Mrs Reed said while this was the last workshop of the series, she is hoping to organise more in the future, which could also include workshops for men.

‘‘While there were specific reasons for making this series for women, the messages were equally applicable to men and many men would have loved to participate,’’ she said.

The workshop costs $5 for the whole day, which includes morning tea, lunch and the farm tour.

For bookings and inquiries contact Annette Reed on 63966160 or by emailing

[email protected]南京夜网419论坛

Selbourne organic tomato and garlic farmer Annette Reed has embraced the challenge of growing her produce in the paddock in a frost-prone area. Picture: GEOFF ROBSON

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