Sun | Nov 18, 2018

Give Pink a chance

Published:Monday | November 5, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Chrisine Pink, the woman shepherd at Ebony Park HEART Academy.
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Give me a chance, please! That's the only thing Chrisine Pink, a trainer at the Ebony Park HEART Academy in Clarendon, asks of society. Seemingly disappointed by the segregation of women in agriculture, this champion has stepped out in full force to make a change. And she's starting with the misconceptions of the field.

"Most people think of agriculture as a low-class activity featuring a machete and hoe, and this is not so. Agriculture is the backbone of our country and the main component of our food security. It has a host of professional opportunities for you to explore, and that's what persons need to accept," the young professional told Flair.

She's also aiming to transform the practices technology scape in Jamaica, setting it to match the standard of international communities, while preserving the country's environment. And incorporating modern technologies to improve traditional farming practices simply is her ultimate goal.

Growing up along the countryside and observing her family's prowess in animal rearing and plant production opened her eyes to the possibility of putting her hands to the soil. Plus, she has a fondness for animals; caring and loving these creatures further pushed her in this direction.

 

SETTING TRENDS

 

Pink is winning in agriculture and setting trends. Completing her diploma three years ago at the Ebony Park HEART Academy, she's continuously impacting the lives of trainees with her expertise in apiculture, animal husbandry and plant harvesting, at the said institution. She notes that agriculture, too, fosters development and she's pleased to share her lessons with others.

She's like a shepherd leading a herd of sheep not only in the field, but also in the classroom. While expressing her love for agriculture and the peace of mind it creates for her, she declared that she wouldn't have it any other way.

"My wisdom and knowledge in agriculture is one of my greatest accomplishments so far. Successfully producing goat kids from artificial insemination, winning several awards for my efforts at the Denbigh Agricultural Show and having the skills and opportunity to manage and operate a sheep farm are others. It's just who I am," she explained.

 

MORE CHANGE

 

As much as she tries, Pink can't escape acknowledging the gender biases that surround her daily. She argues and silently laments the fact that too many top positions in the agricultural sector are occupied by males. Yes, many agricultural activities require strong physical labour, she said, but women are at a disadvantage.

"Another thing that bothers me is the lack of training opportunities for us, just because we are women. Most higher-level training is limited to us here in Jamaica and are very expensive. Several women who venture into this field often come from poor families who can't afford profession training but look to agriculture as something to try and make ends meet," a saddened Pink explained.

Pink also aspires to become a veterinarian in the near future. Her liking for her four-legged friends is one reason she wants to explore this area, and helping farmers is another.

"I think of it as a way of assisting farmers. Essentially, I'll offer voluntary services to them to facilitate them with the proper treatment for their sick animals. Not everyone is able to afford these services and that's what I want to fix," she said.

rocheda.bartley@gleanerjm.com