Diverse careers of Yorkshire’s rural women will be celebrated at a milestone 10th autumn get-together held by the Yorkshire Agricultural Society’s Women In Farming Network.

The Network’s flagship annual event, its Autumn Gathering, will be held at Pavilions of Harrogate on the Great Yorkshire Showground in Harrogate on Tuesday 10th October 2023 between 10am and 2.30pm. The Gathering is open to all who live and work in the countryside and rural industries, across the county and beyond.

Fiona Macdonald, Co-ordinator of the Women in Farming Network said: “Our 10th Autumn Gathering is a celebration of inspirational women from across the county of Yorkshire, sponsored by Barclays, Savills and Crombie Wilkinson. An exciting panel of guests will share fascinating and unique stories about their interesting career journeys in Yorkshire and around the world.

“The day also presents us with an opportunity to learn from others, meet new contacts as well as offering some of the best networking you’ll come across anywhere. If you’re coming on your own to the event or joining us for the first time, please be assured you’ll be chatting to someone with a common interest or contact within minutes.”

A diverse panel of speakers will represent each of the Yorkshire regions, including farmer’s daughter and former Dragons Den contestant Rachel Clark who started out as a tractor driver on the family farm in East Yorkshire, and now runs her own digital marketing consultancy, Only The Kind, and hosts the Yorkshire Leaders podcast.

Rachel’s varied career has also seen her work as a brand manager for Red Bull and as a PR Director for Savills. At the Autumn Gathering, she will share marketing tips for farming businesses.

Farmers Guardian Editor Olivia Midgley grew up on her parents’ smallholding in Gomersal, West Yorkshire and studied Journalism at The University of Sheffield. After working for local and regional newspapers and magazines, Olivia joined Farmers Guardian's London team in 2011 and went on to be appointed as Editor in March this year. She is also a director of the Guild of Agricultural Journalists.

Yorkshire Dales farmer Laura Forbes has her own farming story to share. Having grown up on a beef and sheep farm near Selby and studying Agriculture at Nottingham University, Laura travelled to New Zealand as a Rich Wigram Scholar and discovered her passion for dairying. After travelling around Ireland and the UK managing dairy farms, Laura now farms in the Dales with her husband John and undertakes agricultural contracting work.

Sammie Hall will tell the story of her farm diversification into flower growing at the family livestock farm in West Yorkshire. Sammie, based near Leeds, grows flowers over an acre and supplies fresh blooms for weddings and funerals, to florists and flower arrangers, and bouquets online and at a local farmers market.

Sammie’s love of floristry was spurred by working on an organic veg farm in Canada. Her floristry business, Sammie’s Flowers at Kiddal Quarry Farm came about upon her return to the UK in 2022 as she and her brother sought to diversify the family farm.

The Autumn Gathering is kindly sponsored by Barclays, Savills and Crombie Wilkinson Solicitors.

Elizabeth Nelson, Rural Director at Savills said: “Savills are delighted to continue our long-standing support for the Women In Farming Network. This will be another hugely inspirational and empowering day, bringing many rural Yorkshire businesswomen together to enjoy a talented line up of speakers sharing their expertise and an invaluable networking opportunity.”
The Women In Farming Network brings together rural women from across the county in the spirit of personal and professional development and support. The Network was created in 2013 following requests from women living and working on farms and related industries.

The Network holds a rolling programme of events to bring the community together and hosts a private Yorkshire Women In Farming Facebook group of more than 600 members to keep the conversations and support going all year round.

Places at the Women In Farming Network’s Autumn Gathering 2023 are £20 plus a small booking fee and include a buffet lunch, networking opportunities and a British flower raffle of seasonal Yorkshire grown arrangements in aid of the Yorkshire Agricultural Society’s Yorkshire Rural Support Network. To book a place, visit yas.co.uk/wif-autumn-gathering-2023