Liebe celebrates 25 years of Women's Field Day in 2023
Speaking to a crowd of 130 regional women, Danielle McNamee of ProcessWorx was thrilled to welcome everyone to the full day event, which celebrated its 25th year on Tuesday 13th June 2023.
The Women’s Field Day is held annually in Dalwallinu with the aim of increasing the management capacity of women to build a sustainable future for their families, farm businesses and the agricultural industry. The forum attracts a range of attendees from throughout the wheatbelt who have personal and professional interests in broadacre farming, as well as agribusiness representatives.
This year’s event targeted the topics of human resources and safety, business management, health and wellbeing, business diversification and managing culture in the workplace with feedback suggesting all topics are important to consider in a farm business and in the community.
Local woman Jude Barnes started off the day with her presentation titled “life is what happens while you are busy making other plans”, an apt quote by John Lennon which represents her personal story.
After being diagnosed and recovering from Stage 4 Ovarian Cancer, Jude saw the need for succession and took steps to ensure their family farm would continue despite the challenges she faced.
A key point of her presentation was to “Practise gratitude, embrace love, wear wigs and false eyelashes (or don’t), appreciate people, find your peace, buy the Bicycle and a Puppy”.
Successful succession planning was next on the agenda with Danielle Edwards from Bailiwick Legal offering a snippet of information in the lead up to a workshop to be hosted by Liebe Group, while RSM’s Reagan Manns offered his insights into salary packaging and incentives for regional employees.
Attracting and retaining talent in a competitive market calls for salary packaging for regional employers, with Reagan sharing examples of Fringe Benefits that can be offered to employees.
With increasing the capacity of regional women being the purpose of this annual event, Komala Ravendran shared the multitude of career opportunities in ag including graduate programs, leadership programs, career development programs, personal and professional training, and more!
Mark Allington, The Sheep’s Back, shared the top 10 tricks of profitable sheep enterprise including the importance of good organisation, paying attention to detail, understanding animal nutrition and pasture production basics and being open to change and advice.
Understanding profit drives is a key point for some with Perenjori producer Lizzie King saying “the key point for me was understanding that it is your wool cut per hectare and lambs born per ewe hectare that are more important than wool price received or your lambing percentage”.
Mental health management strategies were a highlight with a panel of local growers and business owners sharing how they handle the tough times and how mental health can impact a business.
Facilitator Danielle McNamee said “It was such an inspiring session with great input from the panel members who offered a broad perspective of views into the challenges and benefits of being in agriculture when it comes to mental health”.
A previous Dalwallinu local, Penny Goodwin returned to share how her and husband Dale have taken advantage of opportunities to diversify in broadacre farming. Since 2019, they have embraced a more biological approach to farming which has seen reduced chemical usage and artificial inputs to use more organic fertilisers and liquid minerals resulting in chemical residue free produce.
Keeping with the diversification theme, Block 275 founder Fiona Mann shared her challenges of being “a square peg in a round hole” and how they used their canola crops to value add with a food product. Highlights of their business include meeting new customers, chefs using their products in commercial kitchens, and winning awards for their cold pressed canola oil.
Celebrating women in agriculture was a perfect end to the day with a panel of local women sharing their experiences with returning to a farming business, and the challenges they have faced and overcome while working in the industry.
Offering insight into how they manage the day to day of being a wife or a mum alongside working on the farm, the panel encouraged women to give it a go and to not doubt their capabilities of being able to do the job.
Feedback from the day noted the high caliber presenters with a variety of topics, the attention to detail, and the fantastic learning opportunities provided to all those who attended.
The Liebe Group would like thank Nutrien Ag Solutions for their support through funding this high caliber event, valued Diamond partners Rabobank, RSM, CBH Group and CSBP, and the Liebe Group Women’s Committee for their hard work in planning and executing the event. Thanks also to the men who volunteered their time to prepare and serve a delicious lunch.
Thanks are also extended to event supporters Bailiwick Legal, Watheroo Minerals Group, and Black Cocky Wines.