The success of the New Zealand Grain and Seed Trade Association’s Women in Seed forum in Christchurch has ensured its future as an industry cornerstone event.
Attended by more than 150 delegates, the forum heard from high calibre speakers on a range of issues relevant to today’s female professionals as well as industry-specific issues.
Association vice-president Charlotte Connoley said the event serves as an important annual networking opportunity for women in the seed industry and was also about challenging attendees around current issues with the aim of resulting in personal and professional growth.
“The success of the forum just continues to grow.
“These are challenging times for the primary sector and now more than ever it is crucial our delegates are given opportunities to expand their technical and industry knowledge to support growers and farmers with the challenges ahead,” Connoley said.
“Providing tools for better mental resilience as we heard here today from one of our keynote speakers, Dr Lucy Hone, is also critical for our own health and wellbeing but also so we can provide support to the farming community.”
With attendee numbers surpassing the organisation’s annual conference, Connoley said it is clear there is demand for an opportunity such as the forum.
“We were absolutely delighted with the turnout and support from our industry members ranging from administrators, plant breeders, plant researchers, agronomists, traders to lab and technical experts.
“We will definitely ensure that the forum remains an annual flagship event for the association and our membership.”
Bringing a variety of perspectives to the forum, presenters included Alison Stewart, FAR chief executive; Mel Poulton, NZ agriculture and trade envoy; athlete and ambassador Gemma McCaw; Gabrielle O’Brien, Rural Women NZ; Maury Leyland Penno, Leaft Foods; Julia Jones, head of insight NZX; ANZ agricultural economist Susan Kilsby and Dr Lucy Hone, director of NZ Institute of Wellbeing and Resilience.