A disproportionate number of women participants at MFS events highlighted the need to engage the “other half” of our member base.

A survey of women members in the MFS organisation identified the priority female members of MFS place on the issue of communication and relationships within farming families and farm business partnerships.

Rural farming families continue to face increasing challenges imposed by the constant exposure to market uncertainty, climate variability as well as continuing un-seasonal weather patterns and drought conditions.

This places increasing pressure on the family unit to ensure the farm business remains competitive and viable in the market place as well as maintaining the balance between family and business goals and values.

MFS was successful in securing funding to run two consecutive forums delivered by Rob Napier, Napier Agrifutures, who travels the world working with farming families.

This highly successful project engaged over 40 members at each event and focussed on the following;

  • promotion of more strategic thinking ie. setting goals, writing a business plan, documenting practices and enterprise performance;
  • redefining roles within the family unit to utilise each family members strengths;
  • more effective communication skills to work more effectively with people of different personality styles;
  • skills to develop key business strategies and making the right decisions, resolving conflict, recognising partner & spouse contributions, managing & adapting to change etc.
  • encouraging the planning and follow-through of inter-generational succession to help motivate young people to enter and/or remain in agriculture
  • establish a farm business and that can adapt and grow within the constantly changing environment.

Feedback from participants…

“Each family has different circumstances – good to learn different approaches to solving problems”

“Challenges can be opportunities – the hard part is to recognise them and act to benefit from them.”

“Rob’s enthusiasm actually removed the stigma from something that is so daunting and gave us realistic ways of achieving positive outcomes.
Definitely going to start planning and preparing a family plan and discuss what we want from our farm and where it needs to take us and our family…”

Project Funder: Community Action Grants and MFS