14 April 2000

Give us a say in the business, wives urge

WIVES had a big say on the first day of the Irish Grassland Conference, and implored men to involve them in their businesses.

During discussion after a session – Growing your farming business – dairy farmers wives Helen Scully and Tory Baker told how their involvement in their husbands businesses had helped strengthen their relationships and how teamwork had developed their companies.

Neither had been daunted when confronted with the male dominated world of agriculture. Mrs Baker said that having made the decision to be more closely involved in the business, she had worked hard to gain respect of her peers.

"Once you have educated yourself effectively, then you will be taken seriously and be treated with respect."

She said she had asked her husband and his colleagues in local dairy discussion groups many questions about dairy farming to improve her knowledge.

Mrs Scully added that having broken into agriculture, she felt she had made a positive contribution to her husbands business.

Having given up a career in accountancy and insurance, she computerised the farms records. "Now we can have a running total of the farm and other business interests bottom line at any time."

She agreed with Mrs Baker that working with her husband had brought them closer together. Imploring farmers to involve their wives more, she said it was a step worth taking. "Involve your wife. She will give 100% effort and it will lead to bigger profits." &#42

Helen Scully with husband, Michael, says that having broken into farming she is contributing to the business.