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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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3 guest speakers for women in ag panel at 80th Virginia Ag Show

Women in Agriculture – Finding the balance in a new agricultural environment is set to be the theme of this year’s conference at the 80th Virginia Agricultural Show this Wednesday, August 23rd, 2023.

The show’s conference, which will run from 11 am to 12:30 pm at the Food Hall, will feature Dr Monica Gorman, Associate Professor of Agricultural Extension and Innovation, University College Dublin, Dr Marion Beecher BAgrSc PhD Teagasc Research Officer, Moorepark and Ms Barbara Bray MBE FIFST Nutritionist and food safety consultant.

Dr Gorman’s presentation will focus on the role of farm women in shaping the new agricultural environment, while Dr Beecher, will shine the spotlight on managing your day – improving labour efficiency and time management to achieve a better work-life balance and Ms Bray, will discuss the role for developing safe, nutritious, and sustainable diets to support positive ageing.

About the speakers:
Dr Monica Gorman

Dr Monica Gorman is an Associate Professor in UCD’s School of Agriculture and Food Science, who has developed and co-ordinates postgraduate masters programmes for agricultural science graduates who intend to work in farm advisory and agricultural education roles; working in collaboration with the country’s agricultural knowledge and innovation system.

Her research interests include multifunctional agriculture, expanding livelihood opportunities for farm families, gender issues in agriculture and how best to support multi-actor engagement in co-creating innovative responses to the challenges facing agriculture.

From a family farm in Wicklow, she has previously worked in international development in Africa and continues engagement in projects in Kenya and Eritrea.

Dr Marion Beecher

Dr Marion Beecher is currently working with Teagasc as a Research Officer in the Animal & Grassland Research and Innovation Cere in Moorepark, having graduated from University College Dublin with a PhD in animal science.

Her research interests include dairy farm labour productivity specifically looking at labour-saving technologies, infrastructure, and work organisation including lean management as well as evaluating human resource management practices within Irish dairy farm businesses.

Before this, she co-ordinated the Professional Diploma in Dairy Farm Management Programme which involved coordinating the placements of students on approved dairy host farmers for training.

Barbara Bray MBE FIFST

Barbara Bray MBE FIFST is a registered nutritionist and food safety consultant driving and delivering food safety and nutrition strategy for food businesses.

Her leadership roles have included being Co-Chairman of the Oxford Farming Conference and representing the private sector mechanism in interventions at the UN Committee for Food Security in Rome.

She is also a fellow and committee member of IFST and a trustee of the Nutrition Society. In 2017, Barbara was awarded a Nuffield Farming Scholarship and travelled to Singapore, Indonesia, Japan, Israel, the UK and the USA to study international food and farming systems.

In 2019, Barbara was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for her ‘Services to Food Nutrition’.

Currently, she is researching diets to protect the health of older adults in a doctoral training programme at the Centre for Public Health at Queen’s University Belfast.

In a previous article on That’s Farming, a spokesperson for the show previewed this year’s action-packed event, featuring over 150 trade stands and 500 competitions, which you can read via this link.

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