Women dairy farmers share wisdom

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Dairy Women's Network Gore representative Jess Moore speaks at a 2019 calf rearing seminar in Gore.

“A REAL good tribe”, the Dairy Women’s Network in Southland is all about sharing knowledge and camaraderie, Gore representative Jess Moore says.

A national initiative for women in the dairy farming industry, the Southland branch comprised five regional leadership groups – Northern Southland, Central Southland, Western Southland, Southern Southland and Gore.

Each regional group hosted webinars, workshops and events for hundreds of members involved in the industry, from hands-on farmers to those working behind the scenes, Mrs Moore said.

“It’s a great group of ladies, who all have different strengths in the industry sharing knowledge and supporting each other.”

Workshop topics ranged from on-farm skills including herd reproduction, calf rearing, shed hygiene and mastitis management, to personal development advice on how to create a positive culture on the farm, and business-focused discussions relating to payroll and farm accommodation.

An entirely volunteer-based programme, all Southland dairy farmers were welcome, she said.

“I think women underestimate themselves and how important they are to the team. The whole idea is inclusivity, so men can get involved too, but most of our members are women.”

The organisation was encouraging women who had moved into the region on Moving Day to make contact.

A national conference was also held annually where 35 different regional groups were invited to come together.

However, due to Covid-19, this year’s conference was held online, where the recipients of Fonterra Dairy Woman of the Year and Regional Leader of the Year were announced.

With an ever-growing group of members, the Southland regional groups were always looking for more regional leaders, Mrs Moore said.

“Anyone can step up as a leader, no matter what part of the industry they’re involved in.”

For more information, email southland@dwn.org.nz.

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