National Dialogue on Women in Agriculture

Wednesday 1 February 2023, 9:00am
Midlands Park Hotel, Portlaoise, Co. Laois, R32 KV20
Registration for this event is closed

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine will host the “Women in Agriculture” conference in the Midlands Park Hotel, Port­laoise on 1 February 2023 (St Brigid’s Day), chaired by former Tánaiste and Minister for Agriculture Mary Coughlan.

The Conference will examine gender issues in farming and the agri-food sector and explore how we might improve gender balance into the future. Women currently account for some 18,000 or 13% of all farm holders in Ireland.

The outcomes of the Conference will be compiled into a report, which will feed into future policy in this regard.

Read background information on the National Dialogue on Women in Agriculture - "Improving Gender Balance in the Agri-Food Sector" (link opens as a pdf document in new window)

Details of the event agenda and confirmed speakers are published below, but may be subject to change.

Event Information 

Who should attend?

Registration is open to all interested parties to attend, with particular focus on those at farm level.

There is no charge to attend, however delegates should make their own travel/accommodation arrangements as necessary. Directions & Travel information can be found on the hotel website

How do I register?

Places for this event are limited, so early booking is advisable and attendees should book individually rather than in groups.

To register, scroll to the "Registration" section and select '1' from the drop down menu, then proceed to completing the online booking form. 

You will receive a confirmation email shortly after completing your booking, if the correct email address was used. No tickets will be issued for this event, you will receive a reminder/follow up in the week prior to the event.

Need Help? 

If you have any difficulty with your registration or have any queries, please email Morrow Communications at

Please note,  if the registration option is currently unavailable, this means we are at full capacity for places, if you wish to be added to our waiting list, please email stating your name, organisation and workshop preference. 


  • 01/02/2023
    09:00 - 09:30

    Registration & Arrival Networking

    Light refreshments will be served on arrival.

    09:30 - 09:40

    Welcome & Opening

    Mary Coughlan, Conference Chair

    09:40 - 10:00


    Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue TD

    10:00 - 11:00

    Panel Discussion: “The Role of Women in Agri-Food”

    Panel discussion with invited speakers and floor questions.

    Siobhán Talbot, Group Managing Director, Glanbia plc

    Karen Brosnan - CERES, the Women in Agri Business Leadership Network

    Caroline Bocquel - Interim CEO, Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM)

      11:00 - 11:30

      Guest Speaker

      Julia Klöckner
      Economic spokesperson of the CDU / CSU-parliamentary group, Germany

      11:30 - 12:00


      Refreshments will be served.

      12:00 - 13:00

      Panel Discussion: “Women in Farming – Challenges and Opportunities”

      Panel discussion with invited speakers and floor questions.

      Edna Curley, Principal, Mountbellew Agricultural College
      Maura Farrell, Associate Professor, University of Galway
      Aoife Forde, Suckler Farmer & Advisor, Teagasc
      Ciara Lynch, Dairy Farmer & Chairperson of Dairy Women Ireland

        13:00 - 13:15


        Minister of State Martin Heydon TD

        13:15 - 14:00


        Lunch will be served with time for networking.

        14:00 - 15:15


        Delegates will attend one of the following four workshops, pre-selected upon booking and allocated on arrival

        1. Leadership & visibility - Rapporteur Sinéad McPhilips, Assistant Secretary, DAFM
        2. Education & awareness - Rapporteur Dr Anne-Marie Butler, Teagasc
        3. Financial & legal - Rapporteur Aisling Meehan, Agri-Solicitor
        4. Sustainability - Rapporteur Deirdre Ryan, Director of Quality Assurance and Origin Green

        The organisers will endeavour to allocate your first preference selection, however this will depend on the capacity of each session/room. 

        15:15 - 15:30

        Comfort Break

        15:30 - 16:15

        Workshop Reports

        16:15 - 16:30

        Closing Address

        Minister of State Pippa Hackett


      Workshops - Overview & Format

      Delegates will attend one of the four sessions listed during the conference programme. Each session will last approximately 1hr 15 mins (subject to change) and will be a facilitated open discussion, led by the rapporteur. 

      On the booking form you will be asked for your first and second preferences to enable the organisers to manage capacity of the sessions. Places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis in accordance with the date of registration.

      Further information on the session content will be published in due course.

      Workshop 1 - Leadership & Visibility
      Rapporteur: Sinéad McPhilips, Assistant Secretary, DAFM

      Workshop 3 - Financial & Legal
      Rapporteur: Aisling Meehan, Agri-Solicitor
      Workshop 2 - Education & Awareness
      Rapporteur: Dr Anne-Marie Butler, Teagasc
      Workshop 4 - Sustainability

      Rapporteur: Deirdre Ryan, Director of Quality Assurance and Origin Green



      Event Registration

      Midlands Park Hotel, Portlaoise, Co. Laois, R32 KV20

      Midlands Park Hotel
      Jessop Street
      Co. Laois
      R32 KV20

      Morrow Communications is acting on behalf of the Department of Agriculture, Food & The Marine to organise and co-ordinate this event.

      Morrow Communications Ltd, Hanwood House, Pavilions Office Park, Kinnegar Drive, Holywood, Co. Down, BT18 9JQ
      +44 (0)28 90393837