​The spark came in 1993 at a rural women's gathering at Tallangatta in Victoria when Australian Women in Agriculture was formed. Four Tasmanian dairy farmers who travelled to the gathering wanted to have something similar for rural women in Tasmania. Rae Wardlaw is one of those women who stood for and organised the first Tasmanian Gathering in 1994 at Scottsdale. She says over 140 women came from around the state and from that event, Tasmanian Women in Agriculture was formed.


Ruth Paterson was employed by the Tasmanian Department of Primary Industry from 1994 to 2003 and was instrumental in developing the Tasmanian Women in Agriculture Program. Mrs Paterson was the first woman in Australia to chair an Agriculture Field Day Committee (Agfest in 1993 and 1994), and the recipient of the first ABC Tasmanian Rural Women of the Year Award. She says Tasmanian Women In Agriculture changed the culture by encouraging women to realise their potential and by calling for recognition and seats at decision making tables.