International Women’s Day – Janet Chappel

Tell us a bit about yourself and your role in the agriculture industry in Nova Scotia

I was born and raised on an apple farm in Grafton, NS. When I was younger, I didn’t have much interest in life on the farm. I always thought I’d end up in a big city somewhere, working in some sort of fancy office, doing something important. A few years out of university, I was just where I thought I’d be, living in a city, working in a big fancy office in Toronto, but feeling like I wasn’t doing anything important except working in jobs making rich people richer. Nine years later, with my kids and husband in tow, we moved back to Nova Scotia. I realized the best place to be was back on the farm, away from the city, doing something important – producing high quality apples for the world to enjoy.

Since 2016 I have been back on my family farm. I am happy to say that I am a proud Nova Scotia Apple Grower and couldn’t think of a better place to live and work. I am very fortunate to be able to share the dream my parents had—owning a successful family business that we will continue to grow. Like my parents, I became involved with the Nova Scotia Fruit Growers’ Association. First as a grower member with our farm, then joining the board in 2019.  I have just started my 2-year term as President and look forward to the work ahead and to many more years in the apple industry. 

What is one message you would like to share about women in agriculture for International Women’s Day?

International Women’s Day is a great time to acknowledge women in agriculture and to express thanks for the many ways they contribute to the success of our industry. Agriculture is a field that many women see themselves having a career in, which hasn’t always been the case.  Whether directly on the farm, in the shop, in the office, or through leadership in government and advocacy, the industry has made room at the table for women’s voices. However, once they get involved, it is also important to support them when they get there. This International Women’s Day we should take some time to celebrate how far we have come, and take note of all the ways we can evolve to make agriculture an industry where everyone feels welcome and included.