Business focus for Farming Women Tairawhiti

On-farm discussion group launched for rural women in primary industry business.

On-farm discussion group launched for rural women in primary industry business.

FARM BUSINESS: Farming Women Tairawhiti has a "Business Group" under way for rural women involved in their primary industry farming businesses. The inaugural on-farm discussions were held last week. Pictured are (from left) Karen Newman (Business Group chairperson), Bridget Parker, Demelza Thomas, Marie Burke, Lee Askew, Sue Quilter, Kerry Worsnop, Amanda Cave and Amanda Lewis. Picture supplied

FARMING Women Tairawhiti (FWT) recently launched the FWT Business Group, an on-farm discussion group for rural women in the region involved in their primary industry business.

“The business group involves women who are focused on professional development to improve their farming businesses,” said FWT chairwoman Sandra Matthews.

“We are looking at the business of farming the land, while also improving knowledge surrounding other drivers that influence decision making and innovation, such as human resources, environmental factors, financial and family pressures.”

The FWT Business Group provides the opportunity for hands-on women farmers to be involved in a female-based discussion group.

“We have been extremely fortunate to have Beef and Lamb NZ, Ravensdown, Eastland Veterinary Services and the Red Meat Profit Partnership supporting this initiative in encouraging collaboration and knowledge transfer between different primary producers.

“Women in the group come from a variety of primary industries including sheep and beef, dairy, cropping, citrus and organic farming.

“There are some really amazing success stories within the group including ‘paddock to plate’ success both in livestock and horticulture. We can all learn from this innovative thinking,” said Mrs Matthews.

Business Group members attended their first meeting at Wairakaia Partnership, Muriwai, farmed by Sandra and Rob Faulkner and Jo and Bruce Graham.

“Women from around Tairawhiti joined together to talk the business of farming.

“During the farm tour, viewing of the Beef and Lamb Innovation farm trial focusing on clovers in un-cultivatable hill country was found to be an interesting addition to the sheep and beef side of the farm enterprise. “Another focus of the tour was viewing the cropping side of the partnership and for those not involved in cropping it was an opportunity to understand the seasonal challenges of producing varying yields and also challenges of coping with market fluctuations.”

Citrus was also looked at.

“A common thread throughout the day was the strength in the combination of enterprises complementing each other, through the teamwork of those involved,” Mrs Matthews said.

“As farmers we all have challenges from weather events and also market fluctuations.

“When looking at the Wairakaia Partnership’s three enterprises, we see how they complement each other and it is apparent, whichever primary production area you work in, that we all have the same basic challenges.

“Being able to understand this means we are well on the way to working together in cross sector innovation.”

The idea of cross sector collaboration is new and innovative and as a group, there was excitement as to where this will lead, she said.

“There are some really clever ideas being used in primary industry and we would like to see how these can be integrated into different types of systems.”

FARMING Women Tairawhiti (FWT) recently launched the FWT Business Group, an on-farm discussion group for rural women in the region involved in their primary industry business.

“The business group involves women who are focused on professional development to improve their farming businesses,” said FWT chairwoman Sandra Matthews.

“We are looking at the business of farming the land, while also improving knowledge surrounding other drivers that influence decision making and innovation, such as human resources, environmental factors, financial and family pressures.”

The FWT Business Group provides the opportunity for hands-on women farmers to be involved in a female-based discussion group.

“We have been extremely fortunate to have Beef and Lamb NZ, Ravensdown, Eastland Veterinary Services and the Red Meat Profit Partnership supporting this initiative in encouraging collaboration and knowledge transfer between different primary producers.

“Women in the group come from a variety of primary industries including sheep and beef, dairy, cropping, citrus and organic farming.

“There are some really amazing success stories within the group including ‘paddock to plate’ success both in livestock and horticulture. We can all learn from this innovative thinking,” said Mrs Matthews.

Business Group members attended their first meeting at Wairakaia Partnership, Muriwai, farmed by Sandra and Rob Faulkner and Jo and Bruce Graham.

“Women from around Tairawhiti joined together to talk the business of farming.

“During the farm tour, viewing of the Beef and Lamb Innovation farm trial focusing on clovers in un-cultivatable hill country was found to be an interesting addition to the sheep and beef side of the farm enterprise. “Another focus of the tour was viewing the cropping side of the partnership and for those not involved in cropping it was an opportunity to understand the seasonal challenges of producing varying yields and also challenges of coping with market fluctuations.”

Citrus was also looked at.

“A common thread throughout the day was the strength in the combination of enterprises complementing each other, through the teamwork of those involved,” Mrs Matthews said.

“As farmers we all have challenges from weather events and also market fluctuations.

“When looking at the Wairakaia Partnership’s three enterprises, we see how they complement each other and it is apparent, whichever primary production area you work in, that we all have the same basic challenges.

“Being able to understand this means we are well on the way to working together in cross sector innovation.”

The idea of cross sector collaboration is new and innovative and as a group, there was excitement as to where this will lead, she said.

“There are some really clever ideas being used in primary industry and we would like to see how these can be integrated into different types of systems.”

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