7 Dec 2015

Business programme for women farmers expanded

5:59 am on 7 December 2015

The success of a business programme aimed at female sheep and beef farmers has led to its extension and expansion next year.

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The programme called Understanding Your Farming Business aims to improve the performance and profitability of farms. Photo: 123rf.com

The Agri-Women's Development Trust started the programme - Understanding Your Farming Business - last year to improve performance and profitability of farms.

The trust's executive director Lindy Nelson, who is a sheep and beef farmer herself, said two thirds of last year's participants said it was a lack of training that stopped them being more involved in the budgeting and business side of their farms.

Mrs Nelson said it helped women to become more actively involved in strategic decisions, overseeing business performance and planning.

"They have a better understanding of how to budget, where to get help to do that, monitoring those cash flows, understanding their annual accounts, knowing how to plan in their business, so all of those technical things."

Mrs Nelson said it also gave women confidence to get involved with farming professionals and to move towards being a business team with their husbands rather than just being in a partnership.

She said there had been positive feedback from banks and accountants which serviced the farming businesses.

Mrs Nelson said the programme, funded through the Red Meat Profit Partnership, had 16 positions in 14 different regions available in 2016.

Regions where the programme has been confirmed for 2016 include Blenheim, Cheviot, Wanaka, Gore, Wairarapa, Tararua, Hawke's Bay, Rotorua, National Park, Gisborne, Hunterville and Taranaki.