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Looking beyond the dollars at Winter Dairy Days

12 June 2012

Looking beyond the dollars at Winter Dairy Days

Helping dairy farmers look ‘beyond the dollars’ at their whole farm system management is the goal of a series of winter dairy workshops being held by the Dairy Women’s Network around New Zealand in June and July.

The five workshops are being held in Winton, Rotorua, Cambridge, Hokitika and Nelson at the end of June and beginning of July and are a great follow on from the Essential Farm Finance days run by the Network earlier in the year.

Ngatea dairy farmer and farm consultant, Julie Pirie, will lead four of the workshops, with Te Anau dairy farmer Anna Kempthorne speaking at the Winton event.

Julie Pirie says the workshops will cover a range of different aspects of farm system management and will focus on financial control. Ultimately attendees will be able to leave the seminar with an action plan for their own farm for the next 12 months.

“This is a good opportunity to look back at the farm operation and consider ideas about where costs can be trimmed without sacrificing profitability.

“We will also be identifying what information people need to have to help manage their business over the next 12 months. We’ll also discuss the importance of maintaining strong relationships with accountants, bankers and farm advisers.”

Julie says the workshops will discuss the impacts of the recent milk price forecast announcement and what that will mean for people’s farm operations in the year ahead.

She says attendees are encouraged to bring their own financial and farm information with them, so they can work with real information that is relevant to them.

“Partners are also very welcome.”

Julie has been dairy farming since 1990, while also working as a farm consultant. Together with her husband Brian, Julie runs a 234 hectare dairy farm at Ngatea with 830 cows.

“If there is one thing I want people to take away from the workshops, it is that you simply have to look beyond the dollars at the whole farm management system to ensure that every aspect is operating as effectively and cost-efficiently as possible.”

Dairy Women’s Network CEO, Sarah Speight, says the Winter Dairy Days are part of a calendar of events offered by the Network to provide practical, professional and personal support to women in dairying around New Zealand.

“The purpose of the Dairy Women’s Network is to expand the potential of dairy women in a changing environment and milk price fluctuations are part of our changing environment. Part of our role is to enable women to be leaders in their businesses and communities, as well as the wider industry and to give them the tools and support to succeed in these roles.

“The Network’s Dairy Days are a key vehicle for educating dairying women on a range of topics throughout the year. Our aim is for women to walk away from these dairy days with information they can implement on-farm to improve their businesses and lifestyles as soon as they get home. If their partners come along then it is going to be easier to ensure action happens because both partners will understand the context and the necessity.”

The workshops will be held on the following dates and locations:

WintonThursday 21 JunePresbyterian Church
11 Meldrum St, Winton
RotoruaMonday 25 JuneBest Western Braeside Resort
4 Barnard Rd, Ngongotaha
CambridgeTuesday 26 JuneCambridge Health and Community Centre
22a Taylor St, Cambridge
HokitikaMonday 2 JulySt Johns Hokitika
134 Stafford St, Hokitika
NelsonTuesday 3 JulyTrailways Hotel Nelson
66 Trafalgar St, Nelson

The workshop will run from 10am to 2pm, with registration at 9:30am. For further information and full venue and workshop details, go to


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