By Emma Blom, AgriHQ and Farmers Weekly cadet
Generation Change is a one-day workshop run by Agri-Women’s Development Trust to prepare, inspire and support young women to find their place in New Zealand’s food and fibre sector.
It provides young women with skills to develop their sense of purpose and ability to make an impact within the food and fibre sector.
The full-day workshops, set for Christchurch in May and Hamilton in July, include five key topics: identifying personal strengths and values, defining what impact means, planning first steps, networking and inspirational stories from people working in the sector.
Industry-leading minds will speak including, in Christchurch, Kaila Colbin of Boma, Jack Keeys from Aotearoa Circle and Lee-Ann Marsh from AGMARDT.
Each participant will be offered the chance to be paired with a mentor in the industry, who can act as a sounding board and connecter to people and opportunities.
Past workshops have seen the mentorship grow into valuable pathways including job opportunities, skills development and personal growth.
Molly Donald participated in the 2022 Christchurch workshop and found great value in developing a career pathway.
Donald intends to become an agronomist after completing her Bachelor of Agricultural Science with a minor in marketing.
She said Generation Change has set her up with the right tools to plan and build a successful career pathway
“I’ll look back at my notes and confidently know how to find a job,” Donald said.
Recent Lincoln Graduate Joanna Hoogenboom said: “Generation Change inspired and motivated me to identify my goals, values and strengths to be able to strive and make positive change that aligns with my passion for the food and fibre sector and that lead me to grow my confidence and networks to gain my current role as a farm environmental consultant at Landpro Ltd.”
The workshop is designed for women who are in tertiary study or training, or have recently started their career, and is not limited to agriculture but is open to anyone and all skill sets and perspectives.
It is an opportunity to “have a look at the exciting and diverse opportunities offered by our sector and understand the trends shaping the future” Lisa Sims, Agri-Women’s Development Trust (AWDT) general manager, said.
Sims encouraged young women to use the day to understand their strengths and what matters to them and how that might translate into meaningful work, then put in place an action plan for first career steps.
Heather Gee-Taylor, a Manawatū farmer, spoke at Generation Change 2022 in Palmerston North, and said the workshop was a “relaxed and inviting start to the networking experience”.
The workshop “shows the different pathways that are out there” and enables young women to connect with each other.
The workshops will be held in Christchurch on Tuesday, May 30 and in Hamilton on Thursday, July 27.