Agri-Women's Development Trust

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Understanding Your Farming Business (UYFB)

Engaging women as critical farming partners


*Programme update*

After seven years supporting the Understanding Your Farming Business programme, the Red Meat Profit Partnership (RMPP) has come to the end of its 7-year mission to lift the sector’s productivity and profitability.

Thanks to RMPP, Understanding Your Farming Business has supported more than 2,200 sheep, beef and dairy farming women in developing the skills and confidence to fully participate in their farming business.

In 2021, AWDT is conducting a programme review of Understanding Your Farming Business – exploring how our most popular programme could evolve while remaining relevant and accessible to primary sector women.

If you are still interested in Understanding Your Farming Business, please go ahead and register below. We’ll be sure to keep you posted on the programmes’ future later in the year.

If you would like to get started on your personal development journey sooner – we recommend It’s All About YOU, our 2-day programme exploring your true value and identity.


There's a place for you in your farming business. 

A place where you feel confident, where your passion inspires you to learn and your voice matters. Let's find it.


Understanding Your Farming Business (UYFB) equips women in the sheep, beef and dairy sectors with the skills and confidence to fully participate in their farming business.

Whether you're farming with others or on your own, you'll learn what drives your farming business and develop the confidence to step-in to decision making and communicate clearly.

In 2021 and in response to graduate feedback, we are launching a new ‘hybrid’ face-to-face and online programme structure - designed to work around you while delivering the life-changing experience shared by the 2,200 Kiwi farming women who have graduated UYFB.  


What to expect from Understanding Your Farming Business:

  • Learn how to measure farm performance and finances
  • Recognise parts of the business that match your passions & skills – opportunities for you to be a more engaged critical farming partner
  • Connect with like-minded local farming women
  • Guidance from expert facilitators who build a trusting & supportive group environment 
  • Learn to speak 'the language' of your farming business and communicate clearly with family, your farming team, bankers and advisors.



Download the Understanding Your Farming Business 2021 flyer here. 

Fee refund policy

View our fee refund policy here.

* The Red MeatRed Meat Profit Partnership Profit Partnership (RMPP) is a Primary Growth Partnership programme that is working to help the red meat sector increase productivity and profitability. RMPP works alongside AWDT to deliver UYFB throughout New Zealand.

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

Module 1: Measuring Farm Performance covers budgeting, stock reconciliations, feed budgeting, benchmarking, key performance indicators (KPI's) and overcoming barriers to new conversations.

Module 2: What are the numbers saying? Covers financial statements, livestock tax, balance sheets, statement of profit or loss, taxation, GST, business structures, trusted teams and coaching conversations.

Module 3: Planning for better farm performance covers business planning - models, processes, vision/purpose/mission, values, goals, SWOT analysis and your action plan.


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