Stephens, C. A., Brawner, S., Dean, A., Stripling, C. T., & Sanok, D. (2018). Reflective journeys of five women agriculturists in Australia:  A qualitative study. Journal of Agricultural Education, 59(1), 271-286.


Women comprise the minority in production agriculture leadership, and their leadership roles in agricultural industries are rarely explored. The purpose of this study was to explore the reflective journeys of five Australian women in production agriculture. The central research questions asked were “What lived experiences helped you obtain your leadership position and what leadership characteristics do you identify as essential in your success?”  This study used a phenomenological approach, as reflecting upon the subjects’ past cultural experiences was crucial in understanding their current positions in life and leadership. Five women in agriculture from Australia served as the participants for this study, and they were selected based upon their leadership presence in Australia. Specific themes were generated which included (a) childhood experiences, (b) current family dynamics, (c) hardship, and (d) perception of leadership style. The perception of leadership style is further divided into three sub-themes: (a) self-perception of leadership, (b) leading by example, and (c) outreach efforts for women in the industry. The five women whose personal journeys were explored are primarily concerned with improving the knowledge given to them and presenting new opportunities to other women when they can. Some recommendations for future research are “What are the reflective journey stories of women agriculturists in the United States?”, “What are reflective journey stories of men engaged in agriculture industries?” and “What mentoring strategies are being utilized to recruit and retain women in agriculture industry fields?”

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