Ladies in Angus

Article Courtesy Laura Cannon, Pivot Design

We were proud to host the Inaugural AngusNZ 100% No Bull Weekend over October 26-28 2023.

Twenty-five women Angus breeders from all over New Zealand attended, bringing a diverse mix of women from both established and brand-new studs. In the mix were guest speakers Fleur Gardiner (Craigs Investment Partners), Sage Harding (PBB), Anna Emmerson (Fluid), Adele Gray (Pivot Design), Teresa Sherson (Teresa Sherson Photography), Paul Williams (Turihaua Angus) and Nadine Hickman (Peptalk Media). The weekend offered a wide range of activities and seminars, from how to build an investment portfolio, through to yoga and feeding stingrays. The theme for the weekend — no question’s a dumb question.

Thursday night kicked off with a beautiful dinner, providing opportunities for everyone to get to know one another.

Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, the women arrived at Turihaua Angus early on Friday morning where they attended an Agri-Women’s Development Trust (AWDT) course, learning the value of knowing their strengths and weaknesses, building confidence, and understanding how everyone plays an integral part in their communities, families and businesses. This was followed by Fleur Gardiner from Craigs Investments discussing various ways to invest, and after lunch Sage Harding from the PBB registry team answered quick fire questions on all things registry and genomics. Anna Emmerson from Fluid discussed aspects of marketing from websites right through to Facebook and Google Analytics, followed by Adele Gray, who went through the new catalogue builder software in production by Pivot Design.

Saturday proved to be entertaining with a bull conformation and lingo chat with Paul, a photography session with Teresa Sherson, teaching how to photograph bulls for sale catalogues, and stingray feeding, which was a real hit. Nadine Hickman led a mind health talk, followed by relaxing yoga and a guided meditation. The weekend concluded with a dinner at The Vines at Bushmere Estate.

Networking with other women in the same industry was a common theme among those asked for their highlights from the weekend. They valued the opportunity to form connections and friendships with like-minded people.

“A big one for me was meeting all the other women — most of them for the first time,” said Kate Pont from AngusNZ. “We all got on well and had similar trains of thought when it came to our business. which made for great learning in all sessions”.

One new Angus member loved meeting women within the same industry, appreciating the support and sense of community formed — the key to boosting wellbeing and a sense of belonging.

For many, managing a farm either with a partner or alone can be isolating, and sourcing education on how to run a farm successfully, capturing breed data, understanding estimated breeding values (EBVs) and knowing how to fill out paperwork, among other jobs a farm brings, can be difficult.

Based on feedback, topic ideas for future events could include farm succession planning, understanding EBVs, advertising and managing farm debt. A few women also see the value in sharing their own skills and experiences with each other, and opening up the event to not just those who work on farms. Plans for the 2025 No Bull Weekender – to be held in the South Island – are already under way with a date announcement early next year. While the 2025 programme may change slightly, collaboration, community, engagement, continued education and entertainment will remain the focus.

Needless to say, the 2023 AngusNZ 100% No Bull Weekend was a huge success!