Agri-Women's Development Trust

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Understanding Your Farming Business (UYFB)

Understanding Your Farming Business equips and supports women involved in sheep and beef farming to lift business performance. Whether you’re farming with others or on your own, you’ll gain the knowledge, skills and confidence needed to help create a positive financial future.   

Red Meat Profit Partnership

Fully funded by the Red Meat Profit Partnership (RMPP), this programme will ensure you return to your business with fresh eyes, be equipped to play a greater part in decision making and be able to communicate powerfully with farming partners, financial advisors and rural professionals. 

Download the programme flyer here.


UYFB 2018 Dates and Regions

In 2018, 19 UYFB programmes have been completed or have already begun. The remaining programmes for 2018 are listed below.  Each programme is held over four months – three full days plus an evening graduation ceremony – and is limited to 16 participants. All details will be confirmed with you before the programmes starts.  

UFYB will be back in 2019 in more regions than ever – register your interest for 2019 below and we’ll be in contact towards the end of 2018.

Location Date  
Marton/Mangaweka 14 Aug, 11 Sept, 9 Oct, 6 Nov FULL
Feilding  15 Aug, 12 Sept, 10 Oct, 7 Nov   
Tokomaru 22 Aug, 13 Sept, 11 Oct, 8 Nov   
Invercargill 22 Aug, 19 Sept, 17 Oct, 14 Nov  FULL
Otautau 23 Aug, 20 Sept, 18 Oct, 15 Nov FULL
Otorohanga 29 Aug, 26 Sep, 24 Oct, 21 Nov FULL
Taumarunui 30 Aug, 27 Sept, 25 Oct, 22 Nov FULL
Gisborne 5 Sept, 3 Oct, 31 Oct, 8 Nov FULL

Register for UYFB 2018 Register interest for 2019

Her story

  • Di Cleveland
  • Binks McCurdy
  • Ro McDiarmid
  • Jo Horrell
  • Graduate feedback
  • Di Cleveland

    Farming couple team up after business course

    North Otago sheep, beef and deer farmers, Jeff and Di Cleveland, are seeing more of each other as they team up after Di made two decisions that changed how she views her role in the business.  

    While some farming women seek jobs off-farm as their children leave home, for Di it was the opposite.  Earlier this year she left her two-day-a-week job in town to commit full-time to the couple’s 864ha farming business near Oamaru. 

    The catalyst for Di’s decision was the renewed confidence and new skills she gained from the Understanding Your Farming Business programme run by the Agri-Women’s Development Trust and funded by the Red Meat Profit Partnership. Click here to read more.

  • Binks McCurdy

    Fine-turning key to farming success

    The desire to step up and be more involved in the business side of her family’s farm was the motivation for Binks McCurdy to learn new skills through a programme for women funded nationally by the Red Meat Profit Partnership.

    Designed and delivered by the Agri-Women’s Development Trust, Understanding Your Farming Business is being held throughout New Zealand to develop the business, skills and confidence of women in the red meat sector.

    Binks, a former nurse, has regularly worked on-farm with her husband Dave on their 1,000ha sheep, beef and cropping farm in Rissington, Hawkes Bay where the couple live with their three children. Since moving there from Southland in 2014 they have grown the business together and always discussed plans for the future. Click here to read more.


  • Ro McDiarmid

    Energised by new knowledge and confidence gained from the AWDT's 'Understanding Your Farming Business' programme, Ro McDiarmid became a key driver of change in the sheep and beef farming business she runs with husband Karl, alongside his parents. Read more...

  • Jo Horrell

    Jo Horrell is feeling very positive about the future of this country's sheep industry. The Southland farmer believes the tide is turning for sheep farming – and she is determined to be part of this. Part of Jo's enthusiasm can be attributed to her having recently completed an AWDT 'Understanding Your Farm Business' course. Jo found the course invaluable for gaining a greater understanding of the farm business she runs alongside her husband Bryce. However, it was having the opportunity to meet like-minded, positive people that for Jo was a real bonus.

  • Graduate feedback

    "This course has changed my attitude to farming knowledge. I went on Day 1 with the impression that I would never be needed in our business and by the end I'm certain that I will make a difference in our business over the years to come. It allowed discussions to be started and for me to ask those dumb questions. Without this course I would have continued to know very little about our business and industry, now I have the opportunity to make of it what I will." Read more...

Hear from our graduates

UYFB graduates talk about why they decided to do the programme and their experiences.

Programme Content

Our expert facilitators provide personalised learning in a trusted, supportive environment. You’ll learn:

  • how to measure farm performance and potential
  • how to add value as a more engaged critical farming partner
  • business planning to improve farm performance
  • the drivers and language of your farming business
  • how to find and assess financial information. 

After the programme

Connections open up with a growing network of critical farming partners throughout New Zealand, supported by each other and AWDT. Regional groups formed by UYFB graduates offer on-going learning and support, and in turn, are supported and developed by AWDT. Click here for more info.

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