Women in Agriculture conference - speaker profiles 2019

Friday, 8 November, 2019

Roseann Kelly

Roseann is chief executive of leading business network Women in Business, a role she has held since the inception of the business network for female entrepreneurs in 2002.  Roseann is a firm believer in diversity and equality in the workplace and has been a key individual in ensuring the voice of women is heard.

Today, Women in Business has approximately 2500 members from across Northern Ireland and Roseann was instrumental in helping to forge links between Women in Business and the Ulster Farmers’ Union.  Roseann has won many awards during her career including Entrepreneurship Leader of the Year and a special award for services to enterprise. Roseann is very passionate about ensuring the role of women and that their commitment is recognised. She leads Northern Ireland’s largest and fastest growing business network for female entrepreneurs and business leaders, with great resilience.

Photo caption: Roseann Kelly, chief executive of Women in Business.


Tracy Hamilton

Brand director of County Down based company Mash Direct, Tracy Hamilton is a well-known face in Northern Ireland agri-food circles. Tracy’s husband Martin was originally a fifth-generation vegetable farmer but in 2004 he took the decision in conjunction with Tracy, to diversify their business and they established Mash Direct. The business employs more than 180 people and with an annual turnover in excess of £15 million, much of Mash Direct’s success in recent years can be attributed to Tracy’s leadership.

Tracy was the recipient of the Outstanding Business Woman of the Year award at the 2015 Women in Business awards, and also collected awards at the Northern Ireland Director of the Year awards in 2013 and in 2014, was shortlisted for the Mid-Market Director of the Year in the UK finals. Tracy has been instrumental in helping to secure new contracts and continually driving Mash Direct forward to ensure survival in an ever changing and competitive market.

The perfect role model for any woman involved in the agri-food industry, Tracy leads Mash Direct with great resilience and collaboration, and the present time is not without its trading challenges with so much uncertainty regarding the UK’s departure from the EU.

Photo caption: Tracy Hamilton, Brand Director of Mash Direct.


Zita McNaugher

Zita McNaugher is the president of the Young Farmers’ Clubs of Ulster, she accepted the chain of office during April 2019. Zita is the sixth woman since Northern Ireland’s largest rural youth organisation was founded in 1929, to hold the role of president and has been at the forefront of the YFCU activities in 2019.

Away from YFCU, Zita is a dairy farmer’s wife and is employed by the College of Agriculture, Food & Rural Enterprise as a food technologist. In her role she helps to advise and assist Northern Ireland food businesses in the safe and efficient development, modification and manufacture of food products.

A strong advocate for women in agriculture, Zita is very passionate about the role women play in the farming industry. Her mother is her inspiration proving that women can have very successful careers in agriculture whilst raising a family.

Photo caption: Zita McNaugher, YFCU president.