Enterprising Rural Women Award 2013 winners announced
24 May 2013
Enterprising Rural Women Award 2013 winners announced
Rural Women New Zealand is delighted to announce the winners of the RWNZ Enterprising Rural Women Award 2013, following an award ceremony at the opening of the Rural Women NZ national conference in Christchurch yesterday evening.
Liz Evans says “These awards, now in their fifth year, offer an opportunity for rural businesswomen to shine. Our aim is to showcase and celebrate rural enterprise, and this year the judges had 20 strong entries to choose from.”
The Supreme Winner of the RWNZ Enterprising Rural Women Award 2013 is Diane Coleman of Treeline Native Nursery, based at Ngongotaha, near Rotorua. Diane also won the Love of the Land category, sponsored by Agrisea Limited. (www.treelinenursery.co.nz).
Treeline Native Nursery, which Diane started 17 years ago, grows and supplies NZ native trees, shrubs and grasses for revegetation and ornamental purposes, growing 300,000 plants a year that are sold to councils, farmers, landscapers, developers and the home gardener.
Rural Women NZ national president, Liz Evans, said Diane Coleman was chosen as the Supreme Winner out of a strong field of contenders, saying she displayed “skill, calm confidence in the progress of her business and a clear awareness of her market.”
“When demand for products slowed with the 2010 economic downturn, Diane adapted to conditions, made some innovative decisions and was able to maintain production levels.
“Added to this, the business is rural-based, employs several rural women and gives back to the community with fund-raising support.”
Other winners on the night were Jan Harper, of Bluespur Butchery in Lawrence, who won the Telecom-sponsored Help! I Need Somebody category.
As one of New Zealand’s first female butchers, Jan, who’s been in the industry since 1977, said it was a ‘dream come true’ when she opened her own business, Bluespur Butchery, in 2009. As well as selling meat to the public, a big part of the business is processing for farmers and hunters.
A very successful exporter of animal by-products from Waipukurau took away the Making it in Rural category, sponsored by Fly Buys Ltd. Angela Payne runs Agri-lab Co-Products Ltd (www.agri-lab.com). Utilising animal parts that previously may have ended up in the offal-pit, the company specialises in placenta, glands, membranes, tendons and glandulars, with 90 percent of the product exported. This is shipped all over the world as raw products for the pharmaceutical and dietary supplements markets.
Kylie Stewart of Rangitikei Farmstay was announced as the winner of the Stay, Play, Rural Award, sponsored by Access Homehealth Ltd. Her 1500 acre farm has been in the family since 1901 and Kylie has breathed new life into many of the old buildings to create attractive accommodation for up to 19 guests at a time who come from all over the world to get a taste of New Zealand rural life with farm tours, horse treks, clay bird shooting and shearing and mustering demonstrations on offer. (www.rangitikeifarmstay.co.nz).
The judging panel also decided this year to give a special Rural Women NZ Encourgement Award. This went to Lee Lamb, a young farming woman who lives in Waikaia, Southland.
As her children grew, and unable to find New Zealand farm-themed books to read to them, Lee decided to write and illustrate her own. A self-taught writer and painter, Lee was also determined to have her books printed in New Zealand. She now has four titles: On the Farm Shearing, On the Farm Autumn Muster, On the Farm Milking Time and On the Farm Harvest.
In congratulating all the winners, Liz Evans said, “Running a successful business anywhere in today’s competitive economy is not easy. It takes time, commitment, money and a passion to succeed. And, of course, you have to have the initial idea to get started.
“And, in the rural context, the start-up and ability to keep going can produce even more challenges. The logisitics of running a business away from a centralised urban area can throw up hurdles such as access to prompt transport and communication – not to mention extra costs of freight and postage. All our winners have jumped those hurdles.”
Agri-Lab Co-Products Ltd
Angela’s business is based in Waipukurau, where she has become a successful exporter of animal products, achieving consistent growth even in the face of the world economic downturn. The business specialises in supplying ingredients for the medical, pharmaceutical and dietary supplements markets, including placenta, glands, membranes, tendons, eyes, brains, blood products and glandular. 90% of the products are exported to countries such as Japan, USA, Korea, Germany, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Korea and Australia. Angela, who has taken the business from conception through to the internationally recognised company it is today, says her location is a significant competitive advantage in the export and pharmaceutical and biomaterial market, with NZ being a BSE free country, and having good access to freezing works, farms and essential services, as well as easy transport on SH2.
Lee Lamb Publishing
Lee’s business is based at Waikaia, Southland, where she is an author and illustrator of children’s picture books about NZ farming practices. She lives with her husband and two young sons on a sheep and beef station and has to date written and illustrated four books in the ‘On the Farm’ series. Keeping the stories true to life, they are educational as well as entertaining for children. She was an entrant in the NZ Post Children’s Book Awards and the Storylines Book Awards.
Treeline Native Nursery
Diane Coleman’s business is based 20km north of Rotorua in the small community of Kaharoa. Treeline Native Nursery grows and supplies native trees, shrubs and grasses for revegetation and ornamental purposes. Established in 1996, in its first 12 years of operation production grew from 10,000 trees to 300,000 trees produced and sold. An essential part of the nursery production is seed collection, and eco-sourcing seed has become a major factor in customer requirements. Diane travels through BoP and Waikato, contacting farmers for this task. The nursery’s location at 419m above sea level ensures plants are hardy and relatively pest free. An interesting development over the last three years has been joining a bio-dynamic group and exploring planting by the moon, using an old Allied Farmers Co-op lunar calendar, which has streamlined the company’s propagation with surprisingly good results. Plants are supplied in bulk to councils, farmers, landscapers, developers and the home gardener.
Bluespur Butchery and Deli
Jan’s business is based at Lawrence in Otago. When the deli opened in 2009 it was a ‘dream come true’ for Jan, who’s been in the butchery trade since she left school. Jan sells meat to the public, but the main focus is on processing meat for farmers and hungers. Lambs, pigs and venison are butchered and made into sausages, saveloys, burgers etc. A popular service is gourmet lamb, where Jan creates barbequed cuts, marinated kebabs, mint glazed lamb cutlets and ‘legendary’ burgers.
Kylie’s business, Rangitikei Farmstay, offers accommodation for up to 19 guests and a range of activities on and off the 1560 acre sheep and beef farm at Marton. Kylie and her husband Andrew moved on to the farm in 2005, surrounded by beautiful landscape and scattered, largely unused buildings filled with ‘treasures’ – saws, stencils, pack saddles, and a push mower to name a few, used by the Stewart family on the farm for the past three generations. The couple began renovating the old buildings and first opened up a bunkhouse and farm museum. They have since converted three other buildings and have developed their farmstay business with farm tours, shearing and mustering demonstrations, horse riding, farm walks, clay bird shooting and hole in one golf. They now have school groups, birthday parties, and overseas guests. Continuing to develop, the couple are presently building a lake to begin water activities on the property.
A recent MYOB Business Monitor survey of more than 1000 small to medium enterprises found that 41% of this size of businesses are owned and operated by women, up from 37% three years ago.
The Business Monitor survey found that on average, females employ more staff than males.
And, that rural New Zealand has a strong appeal for women, with 25% of females in business work in rural areas, compared with 19% of male business operators.
Some regional areas showed even stronger representation, with 57% of businesses in the Waikato owned by women, 51% in Northland and 50% in the Bay of Plenty.
In addition, the Business Monitor highlighted that women are now earning just as much, if not more, than men in business.