Our Story

Our story started with a simple fact – men and women each make up half of the population. The problem was, 50% of people in New Zealand’s primary sector – women – had little involvement in decision-making, from farms to boardrooms.  But they had much to offer.

In 2009, after three years of research, one farming woman turned that problem into an opportunity. Lindy Nelson, alongside Patron Mavis Mullins and fellow trustees, founded the Agri-Women’s Development Trust out of a desire to grow primary industries by unlocking the talent of rural women and developing skills they’ve gained in their businesses, careers, communities and families.

New Zealand’s primary sector faces huge challenges and new opportunities in a world of uncertainty and changing attitudes. To grow and prosper it needs to lead positive change and adapt quickly.

Our vision is that women are vital partners in world-leading New Zealand primary industries.

Our purpose  is to empower women to accelerate progress and change in the primary sector
and rural communities .

With support from our industry partners (including some great men) we research, design and deliver quality programmes that give women with the tools, confidence and know-how to lead and contribute in new ways.  With the right skills and support these incredible women are helping transform farming businesses, industry organisations, Māori agribusiness and communities.

Be part of our story.  Tell us yours.  Connect with our growing network of graduates and supporters.


Strategic Partners

Programme Partners