Agriculture / Community / Sustainability

Aimee Blake and Catherine van der Meulen, Girls who Grow

Aimee Blake and Catherine van der Meulen are dedicated to bringing young women back to explore our landscapes and become part of the climate solution in agricultural industries. Aiming to transform the way we think about food and fibre systems, the two co-founded Girls who Grow to help build a future where people and nature, urban and rural are united as one. Catherine – who found herself surrounded by generations of farming families when she moved to the Awatere Valley in 2019 – is founder of Entrepreneurial Women with Purpose, and Aimee is a rural professional, social researcher and systems thinker. It is clear that both women have a passion for reconnecting people back to our food systems and developing a space where our next generation of wāhine changemakers, leaders and environmental guardians will have a safe place to grow. With women only making up 32% of the workforce in our primary industries, with nearly 60% of young people feeling very worried about climate change yet not grasping how agriculture can be part of the climate solution, and the Ministry for Primary Industries indicating that we need more than 25,000 new skilled workers in the industry by 2025, it feels like the time is ripe for creating a gender-equal agricultural sector. The seeds have already been sown by these two influential and inspiring women, so why not take up their invitation to grow with them?





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