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We’ve always shared our farming roles equally and both think of ourselves as farmers (not the farmer and the farmer’s wife!). Most of the members of the Harcourt Organic Farming Co-op that we host on our farm are women. We know lots of other awesome women farmers as well.

So it can be easy to forget that most people still think of the stereotypical farmer as a man.

But the stereotype is not real. In Australia, 49% of real farm income comes from women, according to author Lucie Newsome.

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But the cliché is pervasive. It can make it harder for girls to choose a career in farming when it is seen as male-dominated.

Encouraging women and girls to be farmers

Kate Keegan, a producer at ABC ME came up with a brilliant idea for a television series to celebrate the International Day of the Girl and at the same time break down some stereotypes.

The series is called ‘If you see it, you can be it’. It matches young girls with interests and dreams in a particular field with a mentor.

Kate got in touch to see if Katie would be interested in being involved in a ‘Farmer’ episode of this series. She jumped at the chance to promote organic farming and farming careers for girls.

The episode is about Miley, who is 8 and wants to be a farmer. It’s called A Day in the Life of a Farmer.

Katie and Miley in the kitchen being filmed for ABC ME series "If you see it you can be it"
Katie and Miley in the kitchen being filmed for ABC ME series “If you see it you can be it”

Being on the telly

It was absolutely fascinating to be involved in the process of making a TV series, and a real eye-opener.

Kate and the production crew were incredibly friendly and gentle. But they were also aiming for a great result, so Miley and Katie had to go through their paces LOTS of times for each little section.

The crew had to make sure they had enough material for just the right combination of sound and video for each shot.

It was pretty nerve-wracking at the beginning, but as the day wore on things got a bit more relaxed. While Katie was making a cuppa in the kitchen Miley even told a great farm joke (look out for the joke about her friend Max).

Lots of cowboy boots at the door when farmers come to visit
Lots of cowboy boots at the door when farmers come to visit

Miley is already a farm girl

Miley came with her Mum, Lisa, and Dad, Adrian, who run a horse, cropping, and sheep farm in western Victoria.

Lisa and Adrian lead what sounds like a very exciting life breaking in horses and competing in rodeos (which explains all the cowboy boots at the door). They assured us it has more than its fair share of mud, horse manure, and mundane jobs, just like all types of farming.

If Miley does decide to become a farmer she’ll be the sixth generation of her family to do so. She’ll be following the proud examples set by her mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. They all played active roles as women farmers.

Not just the farmer’s wife

It’s all too common for women on farms to think of themselves as the ‘farmer’s wife’. It’s terrific for Miley to have the proud support of her family to think of herself – even at the tender age of 8 – as a potential farmer in her own right.

Hopefully, Miley will grow up to be a farmer. Farming is an important job and we need farmers to feed the world!

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