MORE than 100 West Cork women in agriculture attended a special forum event held by Skibbereen and Bandon Credit Union in Bandon on Thursday, October 25th last.
This was the first event of its kind in the region to focus on the increasing importance of the role of women on the farm. The event, which was MC’d by Patricia Messenger of c103, was aimed at women involved in farming on a day to day basis and those who manage farm and family finances and administration.
Attendees heard from a variety of speakers, including Gráinne Hurley, business and technology advisor with Teagasc, who spoke about the importance of being prepared for farm visits. Solicitor Albert Wolfe who spoke about family succession planning and Finola Colgan, Mental Health Ireland, imparted valuable advice on managing stress and mental wellbeing.
A panel discussion among local farmers, Máire McCarthy, Vanessa Kiely-O’Connor, and Ann Keohane, also covered topics that included the challenges facing farmers today, upgrading technology on the farm and achieving a positive work-life balance.
Donal O’Driscoll, CEO of Skibbereen and Bandon Credit Union, said: ‘Events such as this are important for us to understand the needs of our members and also the local farming community to come and learn about new techniques to help them successfully run their farming business. This was the first such event for us and we are already planning another similar event for early 2019 in Skibbereen.
‘Over the past number of months, we have rolled out some of our best loan packages for our farming members, which seek to alleviate their financial worries during a year of extreme weather conditions and uncertainty around Brexit.
‘These “Acre” packages aligned with specialised events ensure that we can meet the needs of our farming community and work closely with them to secure the strong farming heritage which is vital for the future of our region.’