Agri-Women's Development Trust

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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.

She has the confidence to have conversations with the bank manager, with the accountant, with farm advisers and actually know’s what she’s talking about and is able to engage in the conversations that they’re having around the kitchen table. Is now using the reporting features on Cash manager more effectively when making strategic decisions, and now have the ability to use the budget and cashflow to assist with strategic decisions and be a key driver

Rebekah feels much more confident to be more involved in the strategic decisions on their property  and being seen as a key partner in the business, not only by Dave but by the other stakeholders in the business. When sitting around the table they’re looking to Rebekah for answers as well as Dave – it’s not just the wife sitting and making the cups of tea scenario, its me realising my contribution is valuable.

This has changed the way Rebekah see’s herself.  She went from introducing as a farmer’s wife and mum to critical farming partner or chief financial officer. Rebekah is now using coaching conversations and communicates more effectively.

Dave says  “Having Rebekah more involved in the business has been really positive. Has allowed her to take on more roles that I have traditionally carried and that’s freed me up to have a bit more balance.”
” She has more onfidence in me and what we are doing, and that the business is on the right track”

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