Industry celebrates women of agriculture

International Women's Day celebrates our rural champions

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Local Land Services Central Tablelands board member Rachel Nicoll is among the many rural women being celebrated in agriculture for International Women's Day. Photo: LLS

Local Land Services Central Tablelands board member Rachel Nicoll is among the many rural women being celebrated in agriculture for International Women's Day. Photo: LLS

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With International Women's Day just around the corner, rural women are being celebrated.

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"You can't be what you can't see" is a saying that prompted Rachel Nicoll to step into a leadership role with the Local Land Services (LLS).

"Having the opportunity to see other young female board members come forward and put their hand up in the future of the LLS cements its commitment in the regions," Ms Nicoll said.

With International Women's Day just around the corner, Ms Nicoll is among the many rural women being celebrated in agriculture where women make up nearly half of LLS board representation.

Figures show that 45 per cent of LLS board members are women, well above the average of 30pc of representation for Australia's top 200 ASX listed companies.

It's a far cry from the original LLS boards in 2014 where women made up just 18pc of its members statewide.

Ms Nicoll, who was appointed to the Central Tablelands board last year, runs a 65-hectare farm at Hampton, near Lithgow, with the help of her brother, Aaron.

They predominantly farm free-range eggs, but also grow berries and chestnuts.

The siblings took over the farm when their father John passed away in 2016.

She is a community recovery officer with Lithgow Council and she is the chair of NSW Young Farmers as well as current Hartley branch chair.

"It started with me having grass roots experience with NSW Farmers' branch particularly at a time when we were implementing biosecurity plans," she said.

She worked with LLS on wild dog control issues after severe issues in 2011, which saw her sit on LLS pest animal committee and community advisory group.

She said increased women representation on agriculture boards was a step in the right direction.

"Woman are an important aspect on farm and in volunteering roles and have a nurturing instinct that is key to any organisation," she said.

"I'm fortunate have that position with LLS to encourage young women to step into leadership roles."

International Women's Day is on March 8.

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