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Dairying women learn to ‘dig deep’ through good and bad

2 December 2013

Dairying women learn to ‘dig deep’ through good and bad at annual conference

Hundreds of women who work in the dairy industry will be tackling some of the big issues that affect today’s farmers including how to reach and sustain a level of performance that matches medal winning athletics and world champion sports teams when they get together at the Dairy Women’s Network annual conference in March 2014.

The line-up of high calibre keynote speakers includes Hamilton sports psychologist David Galbraith who has worked with the Chiefs rugby team, Magic netball team and Olympic silver medal winner Sarah Walker.

The two-day conference at Hamilton’s Claudelands Event Centre, starting on 19 March 2014, is themed ‘Keeping your finger on the pulse’.

Executive chair Michelle Wilson said the conference programme was largely focused on bringing dairy farming women the latest information on farming business, animals and people, from prioritising wellbeing to developing a leadership style.

She added it was also a great opportunity to take time out from the farm to connect with women in the business of dairying and rural professionals.

“Increasingly as farmers we are required to be involved in more areas of our businesses and ensure they we are not only up to but exceeding expectations, from managing stock to ensuring we follow best practice in environmental compliance.

“We juggle many roles and this year’s conference is an opportunity to hear from inspirational people who are the best at what they do and have worked with the best, and also from some who have hit rock bottom and worked their way back up,” said Mrs Wilson.

Keynote closing speaker Darryl Sabin will end the conference with his story called ’Get busy living’.

Sabin's journey of survival and recovery follows a catastrophic brain injury from doing what he loved - playing rugby with a dream to become an All Black. His story draws on the strength of the human spirit to overcome challenges even seasoned medical experts thought well beyond him.

Sabin will unveil five lessons for life which provide a point of reference and perspective to deal with the challenges life inevitably puts in our path.

Sabin and Galbraith will be joined by ASB chief executive Barbara Chapman and Fonterra's group director of strategy in the Office of the CEO, Maury Leyland.

“Maury has a diverse and incredibly interesting career journey. She was a member of the design team for Team New Zealand during the successful 1995 America's Cup campaign. She is incredibly accomplished and will share her inspiring story,” said Mrs Wilson.

Eight workshops across the two-day conference will include topics ranging from HR practices for building a high performing team; business practices such as strategy; animal health and making sure stock are the ideal weight; and personal wellbeing including how to look after yourself and your mates.

The third ‘Dairy Woman of the Year’ award winner will also be announced at the conference gala dinner. The winner will be awarded a position on the prestigious Women in Leadership 12 month programme run by Global Women, which is valued at $25,000.The award is sponsored by Fonterra Milk Supply.

Early bird registrations for the conference are now open. Women working in the business of dairying can register at or phone 0800 396 748.


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