Agricultural Sector Continues To Grow in Female Representation

Apr 9, 2024 4:00 PM ET

Claire Miller, a first-year diesel technician apprentice at dealership On-Trac Ag in Orange (dealer for New Holland, a brand of CNH), is not just the only woman on her workshop floor, but the first apprentice in 2024 to have secured herself the ultimate Supercars experience.

In recognition of her emerging talent, the CNH brand rewarded Claire with an exclusive pit crew experience at this year’s Bathurst 500—where the RedBull Ampol team celebrated their first win of the season.

“It was an unreal experience being in the pitstop and seeing the car come in and out within six seconds. To see what it takes in a high-pressure space was a standout,” Claire said.

“Bathurst 500 certainly gave me an appreciation for my trade.”

Claire joined New Holland as an apprentice following a stint in the On-Trac workshop for high school work experience where she fell in love with the work.

“As a young woman in the industry, I appreciate that my team don’t treat me any differently and have helped me overcome any doubts about my success,” Claire said.

The agriculture industry is firmly in Claire’s sights, sharing that her goal is to move ‘up north’ and buy a big property for herself.

It’s a dream that Claire shares with Dalby-based Catherine Baker, who runs a 1750-hectare farm with her husband, growing wheat, barley, and sorghum.

Despite the ex-teacher having grown up on her family’s farm, she only found her passion for agriculture after the last of her children went to boarding school.

“I had to refocus my energies and show up on the farm. Although there are days I miss the routine of school, I didn’t realise how much I missed the farm,” Catherine said.

“I didn’t really grow up driving the tractors—more so steering them while being towed—so I have had to get confident and comfortable quickly to help my husband,”

“I’ve driven during planting and harvesting now, and I am getting up to snuff. Our newest tractor will definitely be the next piece in the puzzle for me.”

Last February, Catherine and her husband took delivery of New Holland’s new T7 Heavy Duty, equipped with Precision Land Management (PLM).

“What has made me most excited about the T7 HD is the PLM component, as well as ability for the machine to direct and turn itself. It means I can easily pick up from where my husband left off and take greater ownership over tasks,” Catherine said.

Bruce Healy, General Manager of New Holland Agriculture ANZ acknowledges the contribution of women to the agriculture sector and the importance of promoting and encouraging women to take on opportunities within our industry.

“Machinery doesn’t know gender. We’re always called to invest in and accelerate progress for women—and there is no better industry than agriculture in which to do this.

“New Holland is committed to setting a standard of gender diversity across the industry, in line with the National Farmer’s Federation’s (NFF) goal of doubling the number of women in agriculture’s leadership positions by 2030.”

CNH has been committed to supporting women like Claire and Catherine to find their feet in the agriculture industry, championing gender diversity in agriculture and fostering more pathways for greater representation.