Growing up on a potato farm in Carne, Co. Wexford - an area best-known for producing some of Ireland’s finest New Season Potatoes - sowed the seed for Lisa Meyler.
The majority of the Meyler’s potatoes are dispatched to many parts of Ireland including Kilkenny; Clare; and Dublin and supplied to local shops and restaurants.
The family has also stocked a number of beef cattle and Lisa and her father have numerous half-bred horses on the farm which they buy and sell both nationally and internationally.
Lisa has always had a strong passion for agriculture as both her parents are from farming backgrounds.
Following in her Dad’s footsteps, Lisa began horse riding at the age of nine and went on to compete at many showjumping and cross country events including four All-Ireland Championships.
In her teenage years, the young fifth-generation farmer took advantage of the facilities on the farm and decided to generate some extra income during the summer months.
She bought and trained young horses in preparation for potential buyers both in Ireland and the UK.
“From a very young age, I was outside helping on the farm whether it was harvesting potatoes by hand; feeding cattle or mucking out stables.” Lisa Meyler told Catherina Cunnane of That’s Farming.
“As I got into my teens, my parents encouraged me to take on more responsibility including customer communications and product dispatch.”
When the Wexford native completed her Leaving Cert in 2013, she pursued a degree in Social Science at Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) as she always had a strong interest in the study of society and the relationship among individuals.
Having completed her thesis on advertising and cultural hegemony, the 23-year-old furthered her education and completed a Master’s in Marketing and Management.
“I discovered marketing was the path for me as it focuses on human behaviour and how consumers perceive brands; products and businesses.” Lisa outlined.
Lisa undertook a 5-month placement with Wexford Festival Opera where she supported and assisted in all aspects of Marketing; PR and Communications for the 2017 Wexford Opera Festival.
Green Acre Marketing
Having completed her Masters in Marketing and Management at University College Cork (UCC) late last September, Lisa (23) joined Green Acre Marketing as a Marketing Executive in November-2017.
The company offers a range of services to agribusinesses including event management; literature design and development; digital marketing; advertising campaigns; PR; and marketing mentoring.
“I never once dreamt that I would have the opportunity to combine both my love of agriculture and marketing together.”
Lisa said that Aileen - who established the business in 2014 - has been fantastic to work with and it’s her passion that really motivates and inspires the rest of the team on daily basis.
“Her knowledge; drive; and unique vision for the industry has allowed Green Acre Marketing to grow into one of the leading agri marketing services in Ireland,” Lisa said.
Lisa supports and assists in all aspects of Marketing; PR and Communications for the Green Acre Marketing team. She thoroughly enjoys the varied workload that the position offers.
“Some days, I am in the office developing press releases; creating content for adverts and updating websites and the next, I am planning and assisting a farm walk or video shoot at crop trials.”
“We organise a lot of client tradeshow stands and farm conferences/walks, so a lot of time is spent attending these also,” Lisa added.
As the industry continues to change and present new challenges, Lisa stressed the importance of listening to those who are on the frontline and revealed how enjoys interacting with farmers.
“Being a marketing team of farmer’s daughters is a great advantage for clients as they can trust our knowledge of the farming sector,” Lisa explained.
Working with such a wide range of agribusinesses and being exposed to the sector on a larger scale has been a major highlight for Lisa.
"Ireland was once almost totally economically dependent on farming and it is now incredible to see how the industry has progressed in terms of technology and global exports."
"I think when some people think of agriculture, they think of old-time Ireland; however, it is quite the opposite. It is progressive, it is modern and it is expanding constantly."
Technology is transforming the agriculture industry and a big driver has been the rise of the younger tech-savvy generations and their motivation to find new ways to make their farm more advanced and profitable, Lisa maintains.
"Farmers are not only highly active on online agri news sites but they are also using social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter to share knowledge; news and concerns," Lisa said.
Digital marketing is the most popular service that Green Acre Marketing offers to its Irish and international agri-business firms.
"Businesses are utilising digital marketing as a major part of their marketing and growth strategy as it allows them to communicate with farmers more efficiently and effectively."
"The majority of my work now consists around website and social media development as well as developing; implementing and managing digital campaigns," Lisa added.
Women in Agriculture
Keeping in line with change, Lisa is of the opinion that women have played such a vital role in agriculture and therefore it is time that "women are recognised".
As of yet, Lisa has not experienced any negativity; however, like all industries, she stressed the importance of developing a thick skin.
She said the highlight of her job is working with a team of strong and passionate women who want to make a difference in the agriculture industry.
Lisa said that she feels a stigma still exists because that is what society has created.
“Men are the breadwinners and women are the bread makers.” There is only my sister and I in our family; however, my parents really encouraged us to take part in the farm."
"We were told never let gender stereotypes get in the way of doing what we loved."
"I have lived by this advice in every aspect of my life and that it is reflected in my career now."
The 23-year-old's long-term goal is to continue to learn and progress in the agriculture industry.
"Looking back on it, I feel very fortunate to have grown up in an agricultural setting as it instilled a strong work ethic which I have carried throughout school; college and now the working world."
"Like all farmers, we were faced with many challenges over the years and it was from these challenges, that I learned about the importance of teamwork," Lisa concluded.
"Agriculture is an integral part of Irish culture and I am extremely proud to be a part of this" - Lisa Meyler.
If you are a woman in agriculture and you want to share your story, email - firstname.lastname@example.org - and you may be featured next week.