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Dairy Women Conferences A Hit

25 May 2004

Dairy Women Conferences A Hit

More than 440 women attended the two Network for Women in Dairying conferences in Invercargill and New Plymouth earlier this month, providing strong support for the Network and its activities.

Network Chair Hilary Webber says the executive is extremely pleased with how well the conferences were received and the large attendances at each. Just on 170 women attended the Invercargill conference on May 12 and more than 270 women attended the New Plymouth conference on May 19.

"Most of the participants at the conferences were asking when and where the next one is. There was a great deal of enthusiasm and a real buzz at each conference, as it was the first time we had held Network for Women in Dairying conferences in those regions."

Mrs Webber says the executive used the conferences, which had the theme Dairy Women Adding Value, as an opportunity to gain some feedback on the Network and its conferences through a participant questionnaire.

"More than 280 women completed the questionnaire, with 91% saying the conferences were of real value or extremely good value." She says there was also very strong support (92%) for the annual conferences to continue, with conferences in both the North Island and South Island.

"Some women even wrote notes on the questionnaires requesting that the conferences be extended to a day-and-a-half or two days, such is the support and enthusiasm."

The questionnaires also backed the Network's regional groups and email network activities. "We hope the conferences provide a boost to the regional group activities in both Taranaki and Southland and further a field, as many women traveled large distances to attend the conferences."

The Network also received a large range of discussion topics for the email group network. Mrs Webber says the questionnaire responses indicate the women becoming involved in the Network do take an active part in their dairy farming business and are looking to the Network to help them add value to their business.

"It was especially reassuring to hear that women want more discussion on farming issues and matters, with less focus on recipes, poems or children.

"We established the Network to inform, educate, support and mentor women in dairying, so it is great that we are able to offer these services to more and more women."

She says planning is now underway for the Network's activities in the coming year, with increased confidence thanks to a funding boost by Dairy InSight.

Visit www.womenindairying.co.nz for further information on the Network and its activities.

ENDS


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