GRDC supported course backs rural businesswomen in agriculture

Megan Adams
Farmer and businesswoman, Megan Adams said the GROW course gave her confidence she was looking after her team properly. Photo: Mel Jenson

Tocal College is taking applications for their Generating Regionally Outstanding Women (GROW) program – a six-month course that aims to give rural NSW businesswomen an opportunity to further refine their professional skills.

The GROW program, funded by the NSW Government’s AgSkilled 2.0, which is supported by the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) and other industry partners, has become popular amongst rural women in the grains, cotton and rice sectors who want to improve their leadership and business management skills.

NSW women who are business owners or managers with a minimum of five years’ experience in the workplace, who have delegation over the work health and safety and human resource systems of the business can apply to undertake the course at no charge.

Bec Fing, from Paddock House Training and Consulting, who delivers this course on behalf of Tocal College, said the course aims to provide tools to farming women to help them manage their time better and their businesses.

“We are immensely proud when we hear stories of the changes women in regional NSW have made as a result of their involvement in GROW – both in their personal and business lives,” she said.

“Not only do the participants receive accredited business training but we’ve heard feedback that they’ve noticed an increase in work life balance, sense of place in the business and new lifelong relationships.

“That’s what keeps me coming back to the program.”

GROW participant, a farmer and businesswoman from Ashley NSW, Megan Adams, said the course helped her set up policies and procedures for WHS and HR that improved the process of inducting and onboarding new staff.

“The course gave me so much more confidence in knowing we’re looking after our team and their wellbeing,” she said.

“The personal effectiveness module has also meant I have the time and planning tools to make these procedures happen across our business.”

GRDC Northern Senior Regional Manager, Gillian Meppem said supporting the upskilling of rural women in the grains industry aligns with GRDC’s strategic Capacity and Ability Framework, knowing that family farming partnerships make up a large percentage of successful grain production businesses.

“GRDC are pleased to support and partner in AgSkilled’s GROW program, as it gives women the opportunity to further develop their business skills to improve the way they do things on farm,” she said.

“GRDC recognises the huge contribution women make to our industry and supporting programs like GROW allows us to support rural women in becoming optimal business managers and potential future leaders across the grains sector.”

The GROW program focuses on developing skills in:

  • Time management, planning and organisation
  • Communication and networking to position participants as leaders and influencers in their business and community
  • Management of teams and staff and meeting Industrial Relations requirements
  • Understanding and managing work health and safety in your business

Successful completion of assessment tasks will result in achieving a statement of attainment containing units of competency that can contribute to several nationally recognised qualifications.

Delivery of the course will be a mix of online and face to face training over 6 months, including face to face workshops with webinars, online content and workplace exercises in between. Courses are currently scheduled for Moree, Coonabarabran and Orange. If you would like to see a course run in your region please get in contact.

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