2020 NSW-ACT AgriFutures™ Rural Women's Award finalists

Cressida Cains, Robertson

2020 NSW-ACT AgriFutures™ Rural Women's Award Winner

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Cressida Cains is a successful businesswoman, cheesemaker and farmer. She lives with her husband Michael and their two sons on a 200 acre farm at Robertson NSW. In 2011 Cressida founded Pecora Dairy – an artisian sheep milk dairy and cheesery in the NSW Southern Highlands.

Throughout her years in the dairy industry Cressida has noticed a worrying trend with a significant number of small dairy farms closing their gate because they cannot make a profit under the current model of selling their milk. Passionate about the industry, she wants to address this by supporting small scale dairy farmers to transform and grow their business.

Her Rural Women’s Award project - Dairy Cocoon - is an online platform and support hub that will assist farmers to develop and produce their own unique branded products. It will include a range of business tools, information and education, as well as an online community to facilitate connections and support.

The site will enable farmers to create industry and product specific business plans, which will include advice around profit and loss and sales and marketing. They will receive access to tailored training and education, including online courses and webinars, and they will be connected with industry experts and mentors.

‘I have seen small dairies transform and create fantastic brands – I want to help small dairy farmers do the same – to break the shackles of being a price taker and start seeing the profits for all their years of hard work.

‘I applied for this award so I can help remove the hurdles for small Australian dairy farmers to transform their farms by creating their own unique brands and in turn giving them a profitable and secure future.’

Photo: Dave Smyth, The Studio Door

Tammy Galvin, Narrandera

2020 NSW-ACT AgriFutures™ Rural Women's Award Runner-up

A female smiling with a white backdrop

Tammy Galvin lives at Narrandera with her partner and young daughter. A small-scale beef farmer and agricultural contracting partner, she also works for Riverina Local Land Services and is a Councillor for Narrandera Shire.

Tammy’s award project, Riverina Women’s Connect Network, will bring together women, businesses and services through face-to-face networking events, a website and business directory, and online forums. In establishing the new network Tammy hopes to facilitate leadership opportunities, social connectivity and stimulate the regional economy.

‘We have only just scraped the surface when it comes to uncovering and showcasing the skills and business talents of women in the Riverina. By putting in place tailored support structures and creating a network for women, businesses and services to come together, I believe it will not only build greater capacity within the community, but it will also contribute to building a stronger local economy.

This network will bring together services and organisation such as Country Women’s Association of NSW, Soroptimists, Rotary, local business chambers, local, state and national women’s groups and government services such as the Rural Adversity Mental Health program. Providing opportunities for people and services to share information and resources will ensure rural people know where to find the support they need when tackling tough times.

Tammy says members of Riverina Women’s Connect will be encouraged to take up leadership opportunities to co-host gatherings and events on a quarterly basis, either in their town or on farms to give women greater confidence.

‘By encouraging and supporting women to take on these roles I hope to build their confidence and leadership capability.’

Photo: Dave Smyth, The Studio Door