King Island finalist in the AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award

Ana Pimenta, Agrifutures state finalist 2018.

King Island Regional Landcare Facilitator and beef farmer, Ana Pimenta, was recently selected as one of three Tasmanian finalists in the coveted AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award. 
Ana went on to take out the development award category for 2018 at a special event held at Parliament House in Hobart in early May, finishing a close second in a high calibre field of finalists.

For Ana, the nomination itself as a state finalist presented an opportunity for her to highlight the economic and wider social benefits of family farms finding innovative ways for more women to participate in agricultural workshops and training.

“I’ve delivered and attended many land management workshops and field days since starting work in Natural Resource Management in 2011,” said Ana.

“Family farms are particularly time and resource-pressured, so it is very common for only one partner in the family business to be able to attend agricultural workshops.  It’s unrealistic to expect them to effectively transfer all they learn to others back on the farm so the end result is a slower pace of change and lower rate of adoption.”

About 70% of workshop participants are male but Ana’s idea that sparked the interest of the Rural Women’s Award judges could see that change.

Ana has combined her extensive experience to create a modular business management planning program that reduces the barriers to participation and has the potential to be replicated anywhere in Australia.

The program steps family farm partners through an entire planning process, commencing with personality tests to understand different strengths and decision-making styles through to financial studies to identify their own farm’s profit-drivers.  The workshop modules build on the basics of a topic and introduce more advanced concepts as the participant’s knowledge and confidence also grow.

“Participants can volunteer to become case study farms and have others visit and learn from their experiences.  The case study farms also benefit by becoming connected to a broader, supportive network of farmers facing similar challenges as their own,” said Ana.
Congratulations Ana on your excellent program idea and well done in taking home the Development Award!

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