Development course for farming women expands

A business development programme for women involved in sheep and beef farming businesses is set to expand next year to benefit 500 more farms.

Wanaka and Oamaru will be among the first of 32 rural centres nationally to host the Understanding Your Farming Business programme in early February.

The programme was scaled up this year and delivered to 350 women, bringing the total number of graduates to 780 over the past four years.

Included was a second programme, Wahine Maia Wahine Whenua, which was adapted for women who were trustees, managers or partners in Maori sheep and beef farming businesses.

The programmes, run by the Agri-Women’s Development Trust and funded by the Red Meat Profit Partnership, was aimed at lifting performance and profitability of the red meat sector by equipping farming women with knowledge, skills and confidence to contribute more fully.

More than 200 inquiries had been received for the 2018 programmes before registrations opened this week. There was a "thirst" from farming couples and individuals to learn how they could sharpen their businesses financially and work more closely with family and advisers to achieve  growth, AWDT executive Lindy Nelson said.

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