RURAL DREAM: RCS representative Bec Clapperton shares her dreams and journey at the Burnett Inland's Women in Ag Day in Durong on March 3.
RURAL DREAM: RCS representative Bec Clapperton shares her dreams and journey at the Burnett Inland's Women in Ag Day in Durong on March 3. Jessica McGrath

Challenging perceptions of women in agriculture

WITH a dream to one day own a rural property, Bec Clapperton is on a mission to change perceptions about women in agriculture.

The Burnett Inland Women in Agriculture guest speaker in Durong on March 3 grew up on her family's cattle property in Tarong.

Ms Clapperton and her friend recently got up early one weekend with the goal of moving 300 cattle.

"It was a very large day and we got through all of that and finally got back to the house," she said.

This particular weekend her friend's brother and cousin were home.

"As we pulled up to the house I couldn't help but smile at the situation I found myself in," Ms Clapperton said.

"Here we were, two women, we'd been out mustering all day, covered in dust and here was dinner sitting on the table for us, these two fellas had cooked."

"That got me thinking about women and women in ag and how as I've gotten older my perception of that has changed."

Growing up in the South Burnett her perceptions of the roles of rural women were challenged.

Ms Clapperton remembered being frustrated when asked to assist her mother with the housework while her brother helped her father outside.

When her brother moved away she started assisting her father with the work outside.

"The visual thing that I saw was the outside work, move a mob of cattle, or put a fence up, that's what I thought made a property tick," she said.

She eventually realised there were many other aspects of running a property which were less obvious, but equally as important, and grew an appreciation for her mother's hard work.

Ms Clapperton went on to university in Armidale to study a dual degree in agriculture and business, before taking on a job with RCS Australia as a graduate advisor in Yeppoon.

"For me that hasn't come without its challenges," she said.

Throughout her studies and career she has learned the importance of setting goals.

Ms Clapperton recommends writing down goals and being committed to sticking to these the goals, no matter the challenges.

"Life is like a game of cards, you have no control over what's dealt, but we can choose how we play them," she said.