Women On Farm forum
1 December 2009
Women on farms should take more time for pleasure and fitness, a forum in Warrnambool was told recently.
Associate Professor Sue Brumby said at the `Lead Laugh Lunch' Women on Farms forum at Deakin University that keeping the farm team healthy was vital for the future of the industry – and its people.
Associate Professor Brumby, from the National Centre for Farmer Health, told about 100 women from around south-west Victoria that the most important aspect of a healthy Australian farm was its people.
She was one of four speakers detailing the role of women on farms and farm-related research being carried out in south-west Victoria as part of the joint dairy industry and Deakin University function.
The lunch also heard from Deakin University researchers Dr Michelle Graymore on water and climate change, Dr Vincent Versace on land use change and Pro Vice-Chancellor (Rural and Regional) Professor Sue Kilpatrick on strategic skills for sustainable farming.
Associate Professor Brumby said that to stay healthy women needed to allow time for pleasure, eat a low-fat, high-fibre diet, make time for exercise and have two or three alcohol-free days each week.
"And don't forget to laugh," she added. "That's why we (women) live seven years longer than men."
Associate Professor Brumby said that farm enterprises relied on the good health of family members.
She outlined the spread of diabetes in rural communities, which she said was caused by people exercising less and carrying too much weight.
"It seems people in metropolitan areas have access to more healthy food choices while automation on farms has resulted in less physical activity."
WestVic Dairy chairman Roma Britnell and Deakin University's Research Partnerships Manager Sandra McClelland said women played a vital role on farms and it was important that their contribution be recognised.
"The lunch provided a good opportunity to not only outline some of the local research being undertaken by Deakin University but to give women a chance to network," Ms McClelland said.
Ms Britnell added that the event and others like it in the future would help women better realise the importance of their role on farms.
The luncheon seminar was free to farming women thanks to support from Deakin University, WestVic Dairy, Glenelg Hopkins CMA, Warrnambool City Council and Landmark.
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