The Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) is one of the world’s leading grains research organisations, responsible for planning, investing in and overseeing RD&E to create enduring profitability for Australian grain growers.
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Nuffield Australia 2017 Scholar
Katrina Sasse, from Morawa (near Geraldton) in Western Australia, receives a 2017 Nuffield Scholarship supported by the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) West.
She will research “the way forward for daughters” and investigate strategies to encourage young women, particularly farmer’s daughters, to play an integral role in the continuity of family farm businesses, enabling them to survive and help rural communities thrive.
Katrina is involved in her family’s business ‘Leichhardt Fields’, a cereal and oilseed cropping enterprise which consists of four farms, totalling 8210 hectares. As a farmer’s daughter, she has been raised with a keen interest in agriculture and currently works full-time on the property as a manager, after a successful career in agribusiness banking.
Katrina’s research will be particularly pertinent to difficult rural issues, such as female alienation from farm succession, disinheritance, and entrenched patriarchal challenges in agriculture.
“Patriarchal inheritance of Australian farms is a factor contributing to population decline, the failure of small community clubs and groups, as well as a rising trend in single male farmers. Too often, daughters of farmers are simply encouraged to find alternative careers.”
She plans to demonstrate best practices and tactics in succession planning employed around the world where daughters are included as successors, and to show how women bring new ideas, creativity and leadership styles to the agricultural sector.
“Women who run farms and lead businesses in agriculture are often head-strong, passionate and brave,” she says
“But for women to reach senior leadership means that the business has supported and adapted to her personal and family commitments.
“Farmers need to educate their daughters from a young age about the range of possibilities in farming and to consider their strengths when undertaking succession planning. Farming tasks are very broad and there are brand new opportunities appearing in farming every day.
Katrina will travel to the grain growing regions in the world, including some developing countries and locally in Australia.