Vir­tual fo­rum for dairy­ing women

Matamata Chronicle - - Rural Delivery -

Face­book fo­rums and YouTube videos re­place face-to-face work­shops this month when the Dairy Women’s Net­work launches its sec­ond an­nual vir­tual learn­ing fo­rum.

The Tech­nol­ogy on Farm topic will fea­ture pre­sen­ta­tions from some of the coun­try’s lead­ing agribusi­nesses to help dairy­ing women get bet­ter at us­ing apps, smart­phones and dif­fer­ent online sys­tems.

The Dairy Women’s Net­work is the pre­mier fo­rum for women work­ing in New Zealand’s dairy in­dus­try.

With more than 4000 mem­bers, it works to en­hance women’s lead­er­ship and busi­ness skills in a chang­ing agribusi­ness en­vi­ron­ment by pro­vid­ing a range of ed­u­ca­tional and net­work­ing re­sources.

Re­cent re­search from DairyNZ shows that al­most 50 per cent of dairy farm­ers have smart­phones.

Dairy Women’s Net­work ex­ec­u­tive chair­woman Michelle Wil­son said in­creas­ingly farm­ers ex­pect to be able to use new tech­nol­ogy on the farm to add to the ef­fi­ciency of their busi­ness and that de­spite ru­ral in­ter­net and broad­band chal­lenges, ru­ral New Zealan­ders also ex­pected the same ac­cess to online ser­vices as their ur­ban neigh­bours.

‘‘With this phi­los­o­phy in mind, last year we went ahead and suc­cess­fully de­liv­ered our first vir­tual fo­rum which was a we­b­cast about de­vel­op­ing hu­man re­sources skills for dairy farm em­ploy­ers. It was in­cred­i­bly suc­cess­ful and was viewed by 1750 mem­bers.’’

Mrs Wil­son said this year the Net­work’s face­book page, which has 1265 fol­low­ers, will be the meet­ing place for its mem­bers to view a se­ries of short video pre­sen­ta­tions about farm tech­nol­ogy to help dairy­ing women bet­ter un­der­stand the types of tech­nol­ogy avail­able to them.

Waikato tech­nol­ogy and agri­cul­ture re­search or­gan­i­sa­tion Agritec will show par­tic­i­pants how to get smarter by us­ing their phones on farm.

Dig­i­tal re­source de­vel­oper Mar­lene Wil­liamson said Agritec will demon­strate that by think­ing lat­er­ally smart­phones can con­trib­ute to im­prov­ing health and safety and hu­man re­source prac­tices.

The Net­work’s tra­di­tional Dairy Days are a se­ries of one-day work­shops which run twice a year across the coun­try cov­er­ing a range of topics from es­sen­tial busi­ness skills to on-farm prac­tices.

The vir­tual fo­rum is an ex­ten­sion of the Dairy Days.

Mrs Wil­son said mem­bers can sign up to as many or as few of the tech­nol­ogy ses­sions as they like and there is no charge for the online in­for­ma­tion.

For those who can’t join the online fo­rums a DVD is avail­able to buy.

‘‘The Dairy Women’s Net­work was founded on us­ing tech­nol­ogy to em­power dairy­ing women. Our email fo­rum which started in 2002 was a lead­ing in­no­va­tion at the time and is still re­ally well-used,’’ she said.

‘‘To­day fo­rums such as our Face­book page are be­com­ing in­creas­ingly pop­u­lar and it makes a lot of sense to use so­cial me­dia to come to­gether and talk about tech­nol­ogy.’’

Tech­nol­ogy on Farm Dairy Days start on Oc­to­ber 28.

For more in­for­ma­tion and to reg­is­ter visit dwn.org.nz.

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