Opinion: It's not a sign of weakness for farm women to seek help indoors
There is an old joke about a farmer's wife who was milking a cow by hand when the time came for her to give birth to another baby. Apparently, she went into the house, delivered the baby and returned to finish milking the cow.
At the heart of humour is a grain of truth. Women on farms generally work very hard, and their contribution is often overlooked.
I recently attended a meeting on the specific challenges faced by women in farming, organised by South East Women in Farming Ireland, a fabulous group set up earlier this year, which is focused on personal empowerment.
Afterwards, I got an email from another attendee on the night, Ann Kehoe.
In the quarter of a century that I have been involved in Irish agricultural journalism, no woman farmer has shone more brightly than Ann.
In 1998, she was a member of the IFA Sheep Committee which put the spotlight on lambs being imported from outside the State, which ultimately led to the recovery of hundreds of thousands of pounds in VAT payments.
Then, in 2014, she spoke candidly about her battle with breast cancer.
She has also been heavily involved in the Green Energy Growers Association (GEGA), which promotes the growth of solid biofuels as a viable alternative to traditional fuels.