Diane Coleman – Enterprising Rural Women award winner

May 25, 2013

The Supreme Winner of the RWNZ Enterprising Rural Women Award 2013 is Diane Coleman of Treeline Native Nursery, based at Ngongotaha, near Rotorua.

She also won the Love of the Land category.

Treeline Native Nursery, which Diane started 17 years ago, grows and supplies NZ native trees, shrubs and grasses for revegetation and ornamental purposes, growing 300,000 plants a year that are sold to councils, farmers, landscapers, developers and the home gardener.

Rural Women NZ national president, Liz Evans, said Diane Coleman was chosen as the Supreme Winner out of a strong field of contenders, saying she displayed “skill, calm confidence in the progress of her business and a clear awareness of her market.”

“When demand for products slowed with the 2010 economic downturn, Diane adapted to conditions, made some innovative decisions and was able to maintain production levels.

“Added to this, the business is rural-based, employs several rural women and gives back to the community with fund-raising support.”

Other winners on the night were Jan Harper, of Bluespur Butchery in Lawrence, who won the Telecom-sponsored Help! I Need Somebody category.

As one of New Zealand’s first female butchers, Jan, who’s been in the industry since 1977, said it was a ‘dream come true’ when she opened her own business, Bluespur Butchery, in 2009. As well as selling meat to the public, a big part of the business is processing for farmers and hunters.

A very successful exporter of animal by-products from Waipukurau took away the Making it in Rural category, sponsored by Fly Buys Ltd. Angela Payne runs Agri-lab Co-Products Ltd (www.agri-lab.com). Utilising animal parts that previously may have ended up in the offal-pit, the company specialises in placenta, glands, membranes, tendons and glandulars, with 90 percent of the product exported. This is shipped all over the world as raw products for the pharmaceutical and dietary supplements markets.

Kylie Stewart of Rangitikei Farmstay was announced as the winner of the Stay, Play, Rural Award, sponsored by Access Homehealth Ltd. Her 1500 acre farm has been in the family since 1901 and Kylie has breathed new life into many of the old buildings to create attractive accommodation for up to 19 guests at a time who come from all over the world to get a taste of New Zealand rural life with farm tours, horse treks, clay bird shooting and shearing and mustering demonstrations on offer. (www.rangitikeifarmstay.co.nz).

The judging panel also decided this year to give a special Rural Women NZ Encourgement Award. This went to Lee Lamb, a young farming woman who lives in Waikaia, Southland.

As her children grew, and unable to find New Zealand farm-themed books to read to them, Lee decided to write and illustrate her own. A self-taught writer and painter, Lee was also determined to have her books printed in New Zealand. She now has four titles: On the Farm Shearing, On the Farm Autumn Muster, On the Farm Milking Time and On the Farm Harvest.

In congratulating all the winners, Liz Evans said, “Running a successful business anywhere in today’s competitive economy is not easy. It takes time, commitment, money and a passion to succeed. And, of course, you have to have the initial idea to get started.

“And, in the rural context, the start-up and ability to keep going can produce even more challenges. The logistics of running a business away from a centralised urban area can throw up hurdles such as access to prompt transport and communication – not to mention extra costs of freight and postage. All our winners have jumped those hurdles.” . . .

This is the fifth year RWNZ has run the awards.

They are a wonderful way to showcase rural businesswomen and the variety of enterprises in which they’re involved.


Rural round-up

April 11, 2013

Foray into farming stories for children proves fruitful – Sally Rae:

When Lee Lamb could not find books about farming to read to her young son, she decided to do something about it.

Brought up on Grampians Station, near Lake Tekapo, Mrs Lamb now lives on a sheep and beef station in northern Southland with her husband Jamie and their two young sons Jack (5) and Thomas (3).

It was while living in Omarama that she first picked up a pen, having become frustrated by being unable to buy a book about farming for Jack – who was farming-mad. She sat down one day ”and gave it a go” but did not take it any further until after moving to Waikaia and following the birth of Thomas, when she had a bit more spare time. . .

Dairy Awards Winners Achieve Goals:

The 2013 Canterbury/North Otago Sharemilker/Equity Farmers of the Year, Morgan and Hayley Easton, are using their knowledge to achieve their farming goals.

“Both Hayley and I are well educated in fields supportive of an agribusiness career, which we think is important when running large-scale dairy farms today,” Morgan Easton says. “Large dairy farms are big businesses with significant turnover and numbers of people employed. We feel the knowledge gained from our education has undoubtedly helped us achieve our farming goals to date.”

The other major winners at the Canterbury/North Otago Dairy Industry Awards dinner held at Hotel Ashburton last night were Richard Pearse, the Farm Manager of the Year, and Adam Caldwell, the Dairy Trainee of the Year. Coincidentally Mr Pearse employs Mr Caldwell as an assistant on the Ashburton farm he manages. . .

Ferret trapping programme:

The Animal Health Board is taking advantage of the scavenging habits of ferrets to track bovine tuberculosis in western Southland.

There are only two cattle herds still under movement control in the region because of TB infection, compared with 56 herds in 1996.

TBFree Southland chairman Mike O’Brien said ferret trapping plays an important role in protecting cattle and deer herds from Tb-infected wild animals because they indicate whether the disease is present in other wildlife, especially possums, which can spread the disease to livestock. . .

Freshwater changes show promise – Environment Commissioner:

The Government’s proposed changes to freshwater management are much needed, but only if they are implemented properly says the Commissioner for the Environment, Dr Jan Wright.

Dr Wright submitted on the changes this afternoon, and says moves to improve water quality are welcome.

“It’s vital we make progress on water quality, and the proposed changes are a step in the right direction. . .

Last call for applications for leading farm business management programme:

Applications close at the end of this month for this year’s Rabobank Farm Managers Program, the region’s leading agricultural business management course for the next generation of farm leaders.

Now in its eighth year, the prestigious Rabobank program offers young farmers from across New Zealand and Australia, and a range of agricultural sectors, the opportunity to develop and enhance their business management skills.

Rabobank business programs manager Nerida Sweetapple says the Farm Managers Program is constantly evolving to reflect the changing challenges and opportunities in agriculture. . .

ANZCO’s published result confirms anticipated loss – but could have been worse – Allan Barber:

ANZCO’s financial result to the end of September 2012 was posted on the Companies’ Office website on Friday in compliance with the statutory requirement for private companies. ANZCO reported losses of $25.6 pre-tax and $19.2 million after tax. We now have the details for the big three meat companies which publish their results and, as anticipated, none makes pleasant reading – total pre-tax losses of $140.4 million and post-tax $102.2 million.

But after seeing the numbers from Alliance and Silver Fern Farms in December, it was possible ANZCO’s could have been quite a bit worse. That they weren’t appears to have been the combination of strength in beef and some good management decisions which mitigated the worst effects of a very difficult year. . .


Enterprising rural women

April 10, 2013

Even in the 21st century, some women who fall for farmers have to choose between their careers and their men.

That doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of opportunities outside town boundaries and there’s no better illustration of that than the 20 finalists in Rural Women New Zealand’s Enterprising Rural Women Awards.

MAKING IT IN RURAL ENTRANTS

Saskia Missaar
Aotea Embrace
Saskia’s business is based on the remote Great Barrier Island in the Hauraki Gulf.  With little local employment and just 852 people living on the island, Saskia began the business in 2009 making soaps, massage oils, calendula balm and lip balms.  She now also makes a range of body lotions, hand cream and face moisturizers, made with essential oils and home grown ingredients such as manuka honey, herbs, flowers, native plants and clay, giving her products the ‘Barrier’ touch.  Her market is the gift market and those with sensitive or dry skin and she keeps her prices affordable.  Starting the business was a real challenge with no banks on the island, limited water and limited transport to the mainland.

 

Angela Payne
Agri-Lab Co-Products Ltd
www.agri-lab.com

Angela’s business is based in Waipukurau, where she has become a successful exporter of animal products, achieving consistent growth even in the face of the world economic downturn.  The business specialises in supplying ingredients for the medical, pharmaceutical and dietary supplements markets, including placenta, glands, membranes, tendons, eyes, brains, blood products and glandular.  90% of the products are exported to countries such as Japan, USA, Korea, Germany, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Korea and Australia.  Angela, who has taken the business from conception through to the internationally recognised company it is today, says her location is a significant competitive advantage in the export and pharmaceutical and biomaterial market, with NZ being a BSE free country, and having good access to freezing works, farms and essential services, as well as easy transport on SH2.

 

Lee Lamb
Lee Lamb Publishing

Facebook:  On the farm books

Lee’s business is based at Waikaia, Southland, where she is an author and illustrator of children’s picture books about NZ farming practices.  She lives with her husband and two young sons on a sheep and beef station and has to date written and illustrated four books in the ‘On the Farm’ series.  Keeping the stories true to life, they are educational as well as entertaining for children.  She was an entrant in the NZ Post Children’s Book Awards and the Storylines Book Awards.

 

Christina Perriam
Christina Perriam Fashion Design Ltd

www.christinaperriam.co.nz; www.surpinobambino.co.nz

Christina’s business is based at Tarras in Central Otago.  Her passion for merino wool and fashion has grown out of her upbringing on Bendigo Station, where she was influenced by her father’s entrepreneurial spirit and her mother’s love for merino.  As a qualified fashion designer, she took over her mother’s business in 2010, after her mother passed away and is focused on completing her mother’s dream and vision of making the small village a ‘must visit’ destination.  Christina Perriam manufactures and retails affordable luxury merino wool products that are proudly NZ made, targeting the woman, baby and child market.  The designs are aimed at 30-70 year old discerning women and have a classical and elegant element.  The emphasis is on sustainability, quality and affordable luxury.  The range includes clothing, accessories, sleepwear and home wears.  Suprino Bambino is Christina’s new child and baby clothing range, which is making a big splash and increasing sales month on month.

 

Jules Smith
WashBar Limited

www.washbar.co.nz

WashBar is based in Whangarei, and specialises in NZ made natural pet care products.  Jules targets the equine and canine market, producing animal coat care products.  The products evolved from a soap making hobby, when dog lovers approached Jules to make soaps for dogs with skin problems.  Allergies in dogs primarily manifest as itchy skin, and Jules’ market research revealed a market opportunity, which led to producing her specialist soaps in commercial volumes.  She now focuses on wholesale supplies to pet stores and vets and has continued to expand the range of products.  She now has 349 retailers across NZ and is exporting to Australia.  From dog soap, Jules has gone on to develop horse soap and natural flea repellent for dogs.  She recently developed a range of spritzers for dogs to freshen their coats, producing what she believes to be the first 100% natural, alcohol-free spritzer commercially available.

 

Jan Shoemark
Bell Cottage Crafts Limited

www.janshoemarkglassartist.co.nz

Jan Shoemark  is a glass artist based in Waitoa, Waikato.  Her work is all exclusive, and is characterised by her distinctive style of cutting glass, shaping it as desired.  She produces a wide range of products from memorial stones to plaques and signs, giftware and artwork.  She has won a bronze award at the Auckland Ellerslie flower show and best site at the National Fieldays.  Working with rural themes, all the timber and glass she uses is recycled.

 

LOVE OF THE LAND

Heather Wilkins
The Vege Shed

www.atholvalleymeats.co.nz

Heather Wilkins’ fresh produce and gourmet foods business is based on the family farm in Athol in Southland, where a 100 year old disused woolshed was converted first into The Vege Shed, and then selling Athol Valley lamb and venison sourced from the farm.  Athol Valley Meat is couriered throughout NZ into restaurants and this year the company was placed fourth in the NZ Beef+Lamb Golden Glammies in the retail sector.  The Vege Shed is on SH6 in Athol, an hour south of Queenstown en route for Milford Sound.  The vintage shop frontage has been maintained as an authentic 100 year old woolshed.  Heather’s aim is to give customers the chance to step back in time and slow down, enjoying genuine Kiwi hospitality, the opportunity to try NZ lamb and venison, local produce, preserves, sauces and gifts.

 

Diana Baird
Fairview Enterprises Ltd

www.dianasfruit.co.nz
www.kvw.co.nz

Diversity is the key to Diana Baird’s business Fairview, based in the Kawhatau Valley in the Rangitikei, where she and her husband run a sheep and beef farm, orchard, farm forestry and cereal cropping operation.  Summer fruit production includes traditional style peacharines, plums and quinces, (there is no other commercial fruit production for 100km). They also have a Drysdale sheep stud and promote and market specialist carpet wool.  The farm has two-tier forestry, with trees and grazing beneath, as well as multi-species forestry and amenity tree planting.  They have a walking route for private tours (Kawhatau Valley Walks), run on-farm research (current interests include bumble bees, Ume, succession and aquaculture), and are involved in Massey University case studies and tutoring.  They have previously been successful in the NZ Balance Farm Environment Horizons Awards.

 

Heidi Rosewarne
Blueberry Corner

www.blueberrycorner.co.nz

Heidi and her husband purchased a small blueberry orchard just outside Whakatane in 2002, knowing nothing of horticulture or blueberries, having previously been Taranaki livestock farmers.  It was a steep learning curve to develop a business from ‘honesty box’ roadside sales to the business that now supplies a range of blueberry products direct to the public, as well as internationally and domestically.  Each year new specialty blueberry lines are introduced, and now include james, relishes, juices, chocolate, soap, tea and blueberry honey.  Increasing to three growing properties, the retail business is now open for six months a year.  30 percent of the harvest is exported, 30 percent is sold on the domestic NZ market, and 40 percent is sold at the shop.

 

Diane Coleman
Treeline Native Nursery

www.treelinenursery.co.nz

Diane Coleman’s business is based 20km north of Rotorua in the small community of Kaharoa.  Treeline Native Nursery grows and supplies native trees, shrubs and grasses for revegetation and ornamental purposes.  Established in 1996, in its first 12 years of operation production grew from 10,000 trees to 300,000 trees produced and sold.  An essential part of the nursery production is seed collection, and eco-sourcing seed has become a major factor in customer requirements.  Diane travels through BoP and Waikato, contacting farmers for this task.  The nursery’s location at 419m above sea level ensures plants are hardy and relatively pest free. An interesting development over the last three years has been joining a bio-dynamic group and exploring planting by the moon, using an old Allied Farmers Co-op lunar calendar, which has streamlined the company’s propagation with surprisingly good results.  Plants are supplied in bulk to councils, farmers, landscapers, developers and the home gardener.

 

Stephanie Lynch
Sweetree Honey

www.sweetreehoney.co.nz

Stephanie Lynch’s business is based in Horsham Downs, near Hamilton.  The business involves every aspect of honey production, from caring for bees in 150 beehives, harvesting, packaging and direct selling at farmers markets, as well as through retail shops and the company website.  The bees have access to a wide range of flowering plants, and honeys from different areas are not blended with each other, meaning customers can choose a honey based on the location shown on the jar, such as Horsham Downs, Marokopa, Four Brothers Reserve and Hakarimata, with each having its own special characteristics.  The company also produces bee pollen.

 

HELP I NEED SOMEBODY

Lesley Armstrong-Jennings
Shopenzed.com

www.shopenzed.com

Lesley’s business is an online customer-driven Kiwiana gift store which has evolved since 2000 when she began supplying Kiwi goods to overseas customers on eBay.  Shopenzed.com is now one of the largest online retailers of New Zealand-inspired gifts and collectables.  The business caters for tens of thousands of customers worldwide, carrying over 3000 items, with more being added every week.  All purchases carry a 365 day money back guarantee.  The customers are often ex-pat Kiwis, or people who want to travel of live in New Zealand or who have holidayed here.  90 percent of orders are shipped overseas, with Australia a growing market.  Products include sheepskin boots, slippers, possum merino knitwear, NZ jewellery, rugby gear, souvenirs, books, cosmetics, food and more. Customer service is key to the business’ success, with ‘mad dashes’ to the nearest courier depot (a 50km round trip) to deliver a last minute order the norm.  Free gift wrapping in exquisite wrapping paper adds that special touch.

 


Lynne Johnston
Herd About Hair & Beauty

www.herdabouthairbeauty.co.nz

Lynne Johnston’s hair and beauty salon business is based at Riversdale in Southland.  It began in 2008 when she realised the need to diversify the family’s reliance on dairy share milking income after the downturn.  She first re-opened a hair salon in Riversdale that had ceased trading a year and a half earlier, growing the business to employ staff to work alongside her.  In response to the success of the hair salon she rented a second shop next door and employed a beauty therapist, offering a range of beauty treatments in addition to hair dressing.   Both the hair and beauty salons are now open six days a week.  In the meantime, Lynne has grown her own family, with a fourth child born in February 2011.  She is also still involved on the farm, rearing calves through the spring.  The success of Herd About Hair is based on offering rural people everything a city salon could offer, with exceptional service, with the mission statement ‘a little bit of luxury close to home’.

 

Jill Hollingum
Occsafe Services Ltd

Jill’s business is based near Picton, and involves workplace health and safety services, training and education.  She has put her background as a registered nurse to good use, and takes her occupational health services to the client base which has grown to almost 60 regular clients.  These include factories, vineyards, aquaculture, wood mills, engineering, construction sites and aviation.  She works with clients to help them build and maintain a healthy and safe work environment, to achieve legislative compliance, reduce employee down time, and cost effectiveness.  Services include health monitoring, such as workplace hearing tests, lung function tests, blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol and vision screening; pre-employment work fitness assessments; workplace drug and alcohol testing, rehabilitation programmes; ergonomic workstation office assessments; noise and hygiene surveys and pre-audits for ACC audits.

 

Stephanie Evans
Oasis Beauty NZ Ltd

www.oasisbeauty.co.nz

Stephanie’s business is based at Oxford in Canterbury, where over the last 14 years she has developed a range of products for sensitive skin and sun protection.  Beginning by making products in her own kitchen, they are now manufactured in a factory in Christchurch.  This financial year the business has grown by almost 60 percent, and employs four women from the rural community who help look after the office and customer orders.  Stephanie’s story shows how one enterprising rural woman with very few resources can build a successful business in a very competitive market and provide long term rewarding jobs for other rural women in the community.

 

Jan Harper
Bluespur Butchery and Deli

Jan’s business is based at Lawrence in Otago.  When the deli opened in 2009 it was a ‘dream come true’ for Jan, who’s been in the butchery trade since she left school.  Jan sells meat to the public, but the main focus is on processing meat for farmers and hungers.  Lambs, pigs and venison are butchered and made into sausages, saveloys, burgers etc.  A popular service is gourmet lamb, where Jan creates barbequed cuts, marinated kebabs, mint glased lamb cutlets and ‘legendary’ burgers.

 

 

STAY, PLAY, RURAL

Deborah Hambly
Astronomy Adventures

www.skydome.org.nz

Deborah runs her business from Baylys Beach, Northland where she takes people on tours of the night sky with NZ’s largest hands-on telescope open nightly to the public.  With a passion for astronomy, Deborah arrived in NZ in 2005 with a plan of offering astronomy facilities for tourists and astronomers.  Acquiring her first second-hand giant telescope and dome, she set up on her front lawn, and has since acquired five more telescopes and caters for groups of up to 40.  The Skydome Observatory was fully operational by early 2006.  The telescope to guest ratio is kept at no higher than 1 to 4, so visitors observe at leisure.  Added to this Deborah tells stories and adds fun facts, myths and legends to the experience.

 

Linda Morrison
Tairoa Lodge

www.tairoa-lodge.co.nz

Linda runs boutique accommodation company Tairoa Lodge, which includes a Victorian villa built in 1875 in Hawera, Taranaki.  She and husband Steve bought the old homestead on four acres in 2000, which has Historic Places Trust rating, but was in need of renovation.  Over four years they worked on the property creating three luxury guest rooms, each with private ensuite, and decorated with a mix of antiques and country-style furniture.  In 2003 they relocated Tairoa Cottage to the grounds to offer self-contained accommodation for guests, and in 2007 purchased an adjacent property, The Gatehouse, to cater for the corporate market.  To compliment the business the couple added a secluded retreat, Kingfisher Cottage, in a rural farm setting, to their portfolio.  Finally they purchased Tairoa Church Hall, previously the Gospel Church, with stained glass and matai floors, which is used as an exclusive venue for private functions.  Tairoa Lodge has Qualmark accreditation 4star plus, and Linda’s mission is to provide exceptional customer service.  The business has seen robust growth though Linda says it has been ‘hard won’ and they have had to respond to shifts in the market by offering different accommodation options.  The catering and functions business has grown strongly, based on its reputation and a very strong client focus.

 

Tina Masters
Pure Cruise

www.purecruise.co.nz

Tina’s business, Pure Cruise, operates with a vision to be the foremost sailing product in the central North Island.  It offers a superior sailing experience on Lake Rotoiti, with high end sailing charters on board the 53 foot catamaran Tiua (run with the wind) to travellers, corporate and other groups.

 

Kylie Stewart
Rangitikei Farmstay

www.rangitikeifarmstay.co.nz

Kylie’s business, Rangitikei Farmstay, offers accommodation for up to 19 guests and a range of activities on and off the 1560 acre sheep and beef farm at Pukawa, Lake Taupo.  Kylie and her husband Andrew moved on to the farm in 2005, surrounded by beautiful landscape and scattered, largely unused buildings filled with ‘treasures’ – saws, stencils, pack saddles, and a push mower to name a few, used by the Stewart family on the farm for the past three generations.  The couple began renovating the old buildings and first opened up a bunkhouse and farm museum.  They have since converted three other buildings and have developed their farmstay and catering business with farm tours, shearing and mustering demonstrations, horse riding, farm walks, clay bird shooting and hole in one golf.  They now have school groups, birthday parties, and overseas guests.  Continuing to develop, the couple are presently building a lake to begin water activities on the property.

The winners will be announced at Rural Women’s national conference in Christchurch on May 23rd.


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