Jennifer Tweed lives on a beef and sheep farm, with her husband Moore, and three children.
She established her own family-run home bakery and catering company, Farm House Treats, after her children enrolled in school. “I decided that I needed to get back into work,” she explained.
“We decided that we needed to diversify into something, so I was good at baking - it is a skill that has been passed down through the generations.”
The married mother-of-three began making desserts which she supplied to local shops; she later branched out into celebration cakes and out-catering.
“I very much see the business as the heart of the farm now. As I say, the cattle nearly are the sideline and Farm House Treats is the main part of the business, which, I, the woman of the house, have created.”
Own business and own money
Despite this, Jennifer still has an interest in farming and has her own flock of sheep. “When I’m not baking, I am looking after my sheep.”
“I am very proud of what I have achieved as a woman and I have found something that I can do and it’s my thing.”
“Although I’m still a farmer’s wife, through and through, I’ve found my own thing and it makes me feel that I’ve achieved something.”
“I suppose there are a lot of farmers’ wives out there who feel undervalued and definitely having your own business and bringing in your own money, definitely makes you feel that you very much are worthwhile,” Jennifer concluded.
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Women in agriculture conference
Ulster Farmers’ Union will host its first women in agriculture conference aimed at recognising the contributions of women working in Northern Ireland’s agri-food industry next month.
The free event will take place on November 15th, 2019 at Tullyglass Hotel, Ballymena.
Keynote speakers include Hannah Jackson, also known as the Red Shepherdess and Joyce Bannerman-Campbell, a sheep farmer from Sutherland Scotland and co-chairperson of the Scottish government’s women in agriculture taskforce.
Both will offer their own perspectives on the contributions of women to agriculture and share ideas on how to ensure opportunities enabling more women to join the industry are developed and capitalised on.
Conference speakers also include Rhonda Geary, Operations Director for RUAS; Deirdre O’Shea, Executive Director for Agri-Aware; Jo-Anne Dobson, NI Charity Ambassador for Kidney Care UK; and Zita McNaugher, YFCU President.