Soil and soul day a big success

TOP DAY: The Soil to Soul focus day staged by Farming Women Tairawhiti last week was well attended and received. Clinical psychologist Sarah Donaldson (left) and registered dietitian Sarah Percy were among the presenters. Pictures supplied
Mandy Loffler, Nicola Jones and Lillian Sherman were among the 100 attendees.

FARMING Women Tairawhiti’s (FWT) “Soil to Soul” focus day last week, with the focus on wellness and nutrition, drew a crowd of around 100 to the Poverty Bay Golf Club and has been described as a resounding success.

Tickets for it sold out days in advance.

“It far exceeded my expectations, and was an enjoyable and informative day,” was the response from one of the rural women who attended.

Jacqueline Rowarth, chief scientist for the Environmental Protection Authority was the star attraction, and she drew from her background in soil and agricultural science.

Ms Rowarth dispelled many of the negative myths which have circulated recently about farming.

Farmstrong advocate and Clinical Psychologist Sarah Donaldson, and Registered Dietician Sarah Percy, both from TEA Health and Wellbeing Consultants, led the health and nutrition components of the day.

Their presentations were interactive and relevant to those in the audience. "Very useful information that I can take home to improve my life," was how one person described what she learnt.

FWT chairperson Sandra Matthews welcomed everyone and outlined the work FWT is doing to support its rural based community.

“We have been meeting with organisations like Civil Defence to help improve rural outcomes during adverse events, and creating new partnerships to allow more educational opportunities to be offered to our members.”

Beef and Lamb NZ’s Mark Harris, with support from Sarah Donaldson, addressed the group on the importance of good mental health, looking after ourselves, our families, friends and neighbours. FWT plays a vital role in supporting its members and helping them to access the relevant support agencies when needed.

“It’s important to recognise the signs of distress, and be proactive in encouraging people to seek the help and support that’s available from agencies such as the Rural Support Trust,” Mrs Matthews said.

Nutrition

Ms Rowarth spoke about nutrition from the soil to saliva, and food production from the farm gate to people’s plates.

She celebrated the success stories of New Zealand agriculture, which are often overlooked by mainstream media and other organisations.

“Agriculture and the humble farmer have allowed us as a species to develop, we have done such a great job of feeding people that our success has now created a problem,” she said.

New Zealand has the third highest obesity rate in the OECD due to our consumption of fast food, yet we produce the best food in the world.

Ms Rowarth floated the idea of removing GST from fresh food as a possible solution.

She also spent time myth busting the common perceptions or misconceptions of data, and presented facts in context, with incredible knowledge of her subject.

Women were reassured that despite what the critics say, the job they are doing as farmers, feeding people and taking care of the land, they are really doing very well.

Throughout her presentation the message from Ms Rowarth in response to critics and damaging misinformation was “Check the facts, check the evidence and check the data”. Research results can sometimes be misleading.

The remainder of the Soil to Soul agenda covered staying healthy in busy times, and better nutrition for improved health. Mrs Donaldson discussed the five key factors proved to support wellness:

  • connect with others,
  • take note of your breathing,
  • give time to others,
  • be active
  • keep learning.

Sarah Percy explained the importance of balancing the different food groups for everyday health, and encouraged a Mediterranean-style diet as one that has the best balance for longevity.

The Soil to Soul Focus day was generously supported by Beef and Lamb NZ, Farmstrong, The Environmental Protection Authority, TEA Health and Wellbeing Consultants, Zeosoft, Key Industries, Good Buzz, LeaderBrand, Tui Products and Vetro.

The FWT AGM is on later this month and a social hour planned for September.

To find out more about FWT and their upcoming events follow the group on Facebook or email admin@fwt.co.nz

FARMING Women Tairawhiti’s (FWT) “Soil to Soul” focus day last week, with the focus on wellness and nutrition, drew a crowd of around 100 to the Poverty Bay Golf Club and has been described as a resounding success.

Tickets for it sold out days in advance.

“It far exceeded my expectations, and was an enjoyable and informative day,” was the response from one of the rural women who attended.

Jacqueline Rowarth, chief scientist for the Environmental Protection Authority was the star attraction, and she drew from her background in soil and agricultural science.

Ms Rowarth dispelled many of the negative myths which have circulated recently about farming.

Farmstrong advocate and Clinical Psychologist Sarah Donaldson, and Registered Dietician Sarah Percy, both from TEA Health and Wellbeing Consultants, led the health and nutrition components of the day.

Their presentations were interactive and relevant to those in the audience. "Very useful information that I can take home to improve my life," was how one person described what she learnt.

FWT chairperson Sandra Matthews welcomed everyone and outlined the work FWT is doing to support its rural based community.

“We have been meeting with organisations like Civil Defence to help improve rural outcomes during adverse events, and creating new partnerships to allow more educational opportunities to be offered to our members.”

Beef and Lamb NZ’s Mark Harris, with support from Sarah Donaldson, addressed the group on the importance of good mental health, looking after ourselves, our families, friends and neighbours. FWT plays a vital role in supporting its members and helping them to access the relevant support agencies when needed.

“It’s important to recognise the signs of distress, and be proactive in encouraging people to seek the help and support that’s available from agencies such as the Rural Support Trust,” Mrs Matthews said.

Nutrition

Ms Rowarth spoke about nutrition from the soil to saliva, and food production from the farm gate to people’s plates.

She celebrated the success stories of New Zealand agriculture, which are often overlooked by mainstream media and other organisations.

“Agriculture and the humble farmer have allowed us as a species to develop, we have done such a great job of feeding people that our success has now created a problem,” she said.

New Zealand has the third highest obesity rate in the OECD due to our consumption of fast food, yet we produce the best food in the world.

Ms Rowarth floated the idea of removing GST from fresh food as a possible solution.

She also spent time myth busting the common perceptions or misconceptions of data, and presented facts in context, with incredible knowledge of her subject.

Women were reassured that despite what the critics say, the job they are doing as farmers, feeding people and taking care of the land, they are really doing very well.

Throughout her presentation the message from Ms Rowarth in response to critics and damaging misinformation was “Check the facts, check the evidence and check the data”. Research results can sometimes be misleading.

The remainder of the Soil to Soul agenda covered staying healthy in busy times, and better nutrition for improved health. Mrs Donaldson discussed the five key factors proved to support wellness:

  • connect with others,
  • take note of your breathing,
  • give time to others,
  • be active
  • keep learning.

Sarah Percy explained the importance of balancing the different food groups for everyday health, and encouraged a Mediterranean-style diet as one that has the best balance for longevity.

The Soil to Soul Focus day was generously supported by Beef and Lamb NZ, Farmstrong, The Environmental Protection Authority, TEA Health and Wellbeing Consultants, Zeosoft, Key Industries, Good Buzz, LeaderBrand, Tui Products and Vetro.

The FWT AGM is on later this month and a social hour planned for September.

To find out more about FWT and their upcoming events follow the group on Facebook or email admin@fwt.co.nz

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