Agri-Women's Development Trust

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Understanding Your Farming Business (UYFB)

Understanding Your Farming Business equips and supports women involved in red meat 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 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 2020 Dates and Locations

In 2020, UYFB programmes will be delivered to 35 locations throughout New Zealand.

The programme is delivered over four months and will involve working through three modules and attending a graduation ceremony.

With the current covid-19 situation, programmes will be delivered in one of two ways:

  • Face-to-face full day workshop for each module (x3) plus a graduation ceremony, or
  • via our online learning platform, which will also include 3-4 video conference calls  

The delivery of these programmes will be dependent on the current advice being given by the NZ government.

Each programme is limited to 16 women and registration is essential. So, register your place now by clicking the 'Register for UYFB 2020' button below.

To view current 2020 locations and dates please select 'View 2020 Locations' below. We are looking to schedule further programmes, if you can not attend an existing one, please use the 'Register interest for a future programme' button below to let us know where you are located.

Register for UYFB 2020 Register interest for a future programme

Her story

  • Di Cleveland
  • Binks McCurdy
  • Ro McDiarmid
  • Graduate feedback
  • Graduates video
  • Rebekah Kelly
  • 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...

  • 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...

  • Graduates video

  • Rebekah Kelly

    Rebekah and Dave Kelly farm a 2000 hectare sheep and beef property in Waiau with their four children.

    After being hit hard by the Kaikoura earthquake in November 2016 a lot of time was spent rebuilding and “just surviving,” Rebekah says. “At the start of (2018) I made the decision that I was ready to start thriving again – I wasn’t just going to stick in that survival place and so doing the Understanding Your Farming Business course was a start of a time of thriving.”

    Rebekah had been wanting to do the programme for a few years but knew this was the right time to step up and really start contributing back into their farming business.

    Before the programme, Rebekah's ole in the business was primarily book keeping and acting as a sounding board for Dave, who would often end up phoning a friend to talk things through as Rebekah didn’t have enough understanding or interest.

    Then after finishing the programme Rebekah feel's really engaged in what’s happening on the farm and now knows what the accounts actually mean, can read and compare figures with previous years. Click here to 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.

Strategic Partners

Programme Partners