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Barbara Kuriger, MP for Taranaki – King Country, and the inaugural Dairy Women of the Year (2012) today welcomes news of Government investment into the Agri-Women’s Development Trust (AWDT).

“I am excited to see today’s announcement of almost $300,000 from the Sustainable Farming Fund to promote women in our agricultural sector,” says Ms Kuriger.

The AWDT has received $289,000 from the fund to design and deliver two-year pilot programmes around the country beginning in July.

“I have had the pleasure of speaking to various conferences and meetings with members of the AWDT over my career, and I know how driven these women are in their chosen profession,” says Ms Kuriger.

“Individuals across rural and provincial New Zealand face unique challenges in their industry, and the AWDT delivers programmes that bring rural women together to develop their potential.

“I am particularly thrilled to see that one of the key groups identified for the focus of these pilot programmes is aimed towards young women entering agri-sector careers. More and more women are choosing to enter the agricultural industry and are recognising it as a viable career path, which I wholeheartedly support.

“Women bring a lot to the industry. I’ve met women in the industry who ask me how you can become a director or how to advance their leadership skills, but what a lot don’t realise is that they are already leaders in their own right.

“The AWDT programme encourages leadership growth, and all who complete the programmes go on to do exceptional things. 

The other two focus groups the programmes will be piloted for are Māori women in regional communities, and women with careers outside agriculture whose expertise can be used within the sector. They will be delivered in key economic development regions including Northland, Bay of Plenty, West Coast, Hawkes Bay and Manawatu/Whanganui.

 “This is the second big announcement in a week from the Government aimed at increasing the development and leadership opportunities given to those in our rural communities.

“Last week Minister for Youth Hon Nikki Kaye announced $146,000 under a new partnership for TeenAg, an agricultural youth programme run by New Zealand Young Farmers. The youth programme aims to promote leadership potential in our young farmers in the agriculture sector, and plays an important part in raising awareness of agricultural careers from an early age.

“I am absolutely heartened to see the Government’s commitment to rural and provincial New Zealand with announcements such as these,” says Ms Kuriger.

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