Rural Support celebrates International Women's Day at Chestnutt Farms, Portrush

To mark International Women's Day 2023, Rural Support headed off to Chestnutt Farms in Portrush.To mark International Women's Day 2023, Rural Support headed off to Chestnutt Farms in Portrush.
To mark International Women's Day 2023, Rural Support headed off to Chestnutt Farms in Portrush.
To mark International Women's Day 2023, Rural Support headed off to Chestnutt Farms in Portrush to host their very first International Women’s Day event.

The event brought together a group of leading women – and men – in the industry to celebrate the day and to support the global effort to acknowledge the contribution of women and girls in our societies and the importance of embracing equity.

John Deere are headline sponsors for the overall global event, so Rural Support teamed up with Stephen Moore Farm Machinery, the John Deere dealership in Northern Ireland, to help host and sponsor the event.

The morning was a great success and all who attended had the opportunity to hear from Veronica Morris, Chief Executive, Rural Support; Alison Chestnutt, partner in Chestnutt Farms; Alison Moore, Stephen W Moore Farm Machinery; UFU deputy president, William Irvine and Dr Aoibeann Walsh, Head of Social Farming and Innovation at Rural Support.

Enjoying the event.Enjoying the event.
Enjoying the event.

Alison Chestnutt, who hosted the day with her partner William, shared snippets from her own story, telling the group about how she left her job in September 2020 to grow and expand their agri business.

Speaking on behalf of John Deere and Stephen Moore Farm Machinery, who sponsored some of the event, Alison Moore commented: “John Deere very much place great importance on International Women’s Day and improving opportunities for women and girls across the globe. Marking the occasion here at Chestnutt Farm, along with Rural Support, is a fantastic way in helping keep agriculture and women in agriculture part of the conversation.”

The group then had the opportunity to go on a farm walk with William Chestnutt who explained the everyday running of the family farm, with Alison detailing the workings of producing and packaging the milk for the vending machine, the making of their own Greek style yogurt and how they manage the farm honesty shop.

The walk brought the group back to the ever-popular Chestnutt Farm Milk vending machine where they had the opportunity to buy some milk or milkshakes.

Rural Support's Hannah Kirkpatrick.Rural Support's Hannah Kirkpatrick.
Rural Support's Hannah Kirkpatrick.

UFU deputy president, William Irvine, commented: “It is great to see so many leading women from the agri-industry here today. Women and girls have always been an integral part of the sector and will continue to be as it develops.

“UFU are committed to supporting women in agriculture in several ways, for example through the Women in Agriculture conference, breaking the grass ceiling research and in our everyday work. Today’s event has been a great success and I extend my thanks to Rural Support and the businesses who have supported such an important day.”

Dr Aoibeann Walsh, Head of Social Farming and Innovation, added: “International Women’s Day is focused on inclusion – not just today, but as standard practice. It exists to acknowledge the opportunities that weren’t available for the women who came before us and to safeguard the future of the women who are coming behind us.

“Farming women are making a contribution to an industry that is vital to Northern Ireland’s economy and to all of us as consumers. I’m very glad Rural Support has been able to mark the day by recognising and acknowledging this.”