The Telstra Women in Ag Luncheon, now a signature event on the Farm World calendar, provides the perfect platform to not only hear from some inspirational speakers but also to network and liaise with a room full of energetic, talented women. Patron of the Telstra Women in Ag event Angela Betheras, winner of the 2011 Victorian Agrifutures Rural Woman of the Year award, initiated this event to celebrate the significant contribution that women make in rural and regional Australia, many of whom she met through her award travels. This year’s luncheon will feature three fabulous speakers who will engage, inspire and motivate attendees with their personal and professional journeys. elissa Connors Mlissa Connors, winner of the 2018 Victorian Agrifutures Rural Women’s Award, is the grand-daughter of dairy farmers, but that doesn’t mean she knows everything about running her four-hectare property in Kyneton. In 2011 Melissa, her husband and then two kids made the move from the fringes of Melbourne in search of a simpler life. nnowingly they had taken a major leap into the unknown and learnt very quickly that the learning curve they had embarked on was a tough and very steep one. Ayhing and everything that could go wrong did just that and Melissa found herself asking time and time again “what do I do?”, “who do I talk to?”, “where do I start?”, when one throwaway comment from a retired farmer planted the seed for her project This Farm Needs A Farmer. h roject connects tree-changers with experienced farmers, in many cases retirees, looking to pass their knowledge on to those in need and lend a helping hand to the next generation. AyPul akrille on the pristine coast in South Gippsland is home for Amy Paul. She and her husband run their certified organic farm producing organic pastured eggs and lamb, growing beef and keeping bees with their four school-age children. Hiigfrom nnrthern California, Amy travelled to Australia to study the beef industry and visit farming families from far north Queensland to Victoria. nArl2017 The Invisible Farmer project curated by Museums Victoria featured Amy amongst other fine farming women as a way of strengthening the bond of often overlooked females in this crucial part of our economy and community. Apsinte advocate for community connection and activism, Cultivating female energy and supporting loving friendships is a critical point for Amy. She is frequently supporting and creating spaces for women to congregate and support each other. Compelled to always take a stand against the status quo, Amy will spark thought about your contribution to your community, country and planet. ClieTmleton Groigu n the heart of the Gippsland region, Claire is a sixth-generation farmer with a passion for primary production and holds a degree in animal science from Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga. The aeSure Mile comes from Claire’s connection to the small community of Maryknoll. Her grandparents were part of the original group to establish the town in West Gippsland in the 1950’s and three generations of her family have since enjoyed living there. Maryknoll was mapped out on an area of a square mile. “I beiv nproducing and selling only the finest meat and I know that the finest meat comes from animals and land that are well cared for,” Claire said. The Telstra Women in Ag lunch will be held from noon – 2pm on Thursday, April 11. Tickets can be purchased online at lardnerpark.com.au and are $60 which includes entry to Farm World, Telstra Women in Ag presentations, lunch, gift bag and a glass of wine or soft drink on arrival.