The third annual Dairywomen’s Summit was held in March by West Coast Robotics, a Lely dealership in Agassiz, British Columbia. Around 125 women participated in the event this year, which is the largest turnout thus far.

Veeneman dan
Cow Cooling Product Specialist / InBarn

The focus of the event was to celebrate the women in the dairy industry and provide an opportunity for them to share their stories while connecting with their colleagues in the industry. The event, held at the Clarion Hotel and Conference Centre in Abbotsford, British Columbia, featured speakers and a dinner. It was also sponsored by WestGen, PrairieCoast Equipment, J&C Herd Care, Lely and DairySmart Nutrition.

One of the speakers for the evening was Dr. Beverly Chard. She is a practicing veterinarian at Greenbelt Veterinary Services in Chilliwack, British Columbia. During her talk, Chard shared how she has overcome some of the challenges she faces while being a female in the industry. When asked why she agreed to speak at the event, Chard shared that “it is valuable for us as women to share our stories, how we got to where we are and what we are currently doing in the dairy industry.” She also shared how important it is for women to get together and share their stories.

Julaine Treur, from Creekside Cheese + Creamery in Agassiz, also spoke at the event. She attended the two previous events and was excited to be able to share at this year’s event. Treur was able to share her journey and story. One of the things she mentioned was how many women feel a bit of imposter syndrome when calling themselves “farmer.” “I spoke briefly about my own struggle with that, and I really noticed how many women were nodding along in the audience,” she said. Treur also brought her teenage daughter to the event, and shared how her daughter is “proud to know she belongs to a unique group of women who are incredibly talented and capable.”

Other speakers included Robyn Walsh, who works in farm management support for Grand River Robotics in Fergus, Ontario; and Diana Larson, who runs a Jersey farm on Vancouver Island. Both shared stories of their journeys and encouraged attendees to persevere.


Meghan, one of the first-time attendees this year, noted that she felt encouraged and uplifted by the event. “The event was done in such a way that it made us feel special and celebrated. Just getting off the farm and connecting with other ladies who all share similar stories and journeys is incredible,” she said.

Plans are already underway for next year’s event.


Dr. Beverly Chard talked about overcoming challenges faced as a female in the industry. Courtesy photo.


Guests enjoy the third annual Dairywomen’s Summit in British Columbia. Courtesy photo.