It was a full house at the Cariboo Cattlemen’s Association AGM held Friday, Feb. 7 at the Pioneer Complex in Williams Lake. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

RANCH MUSINGS: Inclusiveness in ranching and agriculture

At that meeting, we will be releasing a strategic plan to guide us as we struggle

As I write this article, we are just a day away from one of Cariboo Cattle industry association’s Annual General Meeting.

At that meeting, we will be releasing a strategic plan to guide us as we struggle, like all mostly-volunteer organizations, to recruit board members. How many directors reflect the ranching base: women as well as men, First Nations as well as small operators? I know we don’t have active membership from the large corporate and sometimes foreign owned ranches.

As with most farming organizations ours has been the domain of men. Fortunately, we have a woman president who manages a thousand cow ranching operation. I am certain she has the help of her partner.

Our plan, which was adopted unanimously by our directors, will be presented to the members and we will be all ears listening to what the members have to say. It will be a challenge to engage and expand our membership.

I mused about this issue having reading about women in farm management and on boards of organizations in a recent edition of Country Guide.

READ MORE: Government intentions regarding residential flexibility in the ALR

I recall a humorous discussion with some ranching neighbours a few years back.

One male rancher whose partner has worked alongside him at virtually everything except logging, said his partner (wife) took care of things like childcare, birthing, growing and feeding nutritious food, participating in the school community and overseeing the kid’s education.

Also, she fully participated earning off farm money to pay for the place, and did much of the business with government, suppliers and regulators.

He, on the other hand, said he did the “important things” such as worrying and having opinions on such matters as the then Iraq war, the pursuit of peace,warming of the atmosphere, politics of the country and just about every other crucial matter challenging humankind.

This was very funny, and he, of course, had his tongue in his cheeky cheek.

In the Country Guide article, the woman interviewed made the point that while some of the agriculture service businesses had policies of equity in membership on their Boards of Directors and perhaps in their staffing policies, women were nowhere near equal in numbers on the Boards of the producer organizations.

Yet, she was as professionally qualified as a farmer and in her career as the men in these lofty positions. She felt that she still needed daycare and there was not much of that available where many of the farms are. However, social media and teleconferencing made it possible to work from home.

The conclusion of the article was that the business of governing farm Industry organizations had a long way to get to equality of the sexes in their top positions.

READ MORE: Dealing with food price increases

This is in spite of the fact that women stand to inherit and control the vast majority of farm equity (land, machinery and livestock) in the decades to come in America and probably Canada.

Maybe it is time for women to lead in the transition to successive ownership, since their day is coming albeit not too quickly.

David Zirnhelt is a rancher and member of the Cariboo Cattlemen’s Association. He is also chair of the Advisory Committee for the Applied Sustainable Ranching Program at TRU.

Do you have a comment about this story? email:

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19 case confirmed at Subway restaurant in Cache Creek

Customers who visited the site from March 25 to 27 are asked to self-isolate

CRD reminds residents to prepare for spring freshet

As temperatures warm up residents are asked to proactively address flooding issues

Geotechnical assessment slated for Soda Creek MacAlister Road slide area

The road is closed indefinitely, no residents completely cut off

Tsilhqot’in National Government declares state of emergency in all 6 communities

The move comes to protect elders and community against threat of COVID-19

B.C. records five new COVID-19 deaths, ‘zero chance’ life will return to normal in April

Province continue to have a recovery rate of about 50 per cent

John Horgan extends B.C.’s state of emergency for COVID-19

Premier urges everyone to follow Dr. Bonnie Henry’s advice

B.C.’s first community COVID-19 death was dentist ‘dedicated’ to health: lawyer

Vincent was 64 when he died on March 22 after attending the Pacific Dental Conference

Two inmates at prison housing Robert Pickton test positive for COVID-19

Correctional Service of Canada did not release any details on the identities of the inmates

BC SPCA launches matching campaign to help vulnerable animals after big donations

Two BC SPCA donors have offered up to $65,000 in matching donations

Quarantined B.C. mom say pandemic has put special-needs families in ‘crisis mode’

Surrey’s Christine Williams shares family’s challenges, strengths

Anti-tax group calls for MPs, senators to donate scheduled pay raises to charity

Bill C-30, adopted 15 years ago, mandates the salary and allowance increases each calendar year

Two arrested after man lies about COVID-19 illness to stay in Victoria Airbnb for free

Victoria Police found stolen goods inside the occupied unit

Liberals delay release of 75% wage subsidy details, costs: Morneau

Program will provide up to $847 per week for each worker

Most Read