Leanne grew up on a livestock farm on Kangaroo Island, raising beef and sheep for wool. She became a PIRSA Animal Health Officer, but quit her day job to become a full time cropping farmer with her husband on the Yorke Peninsula in Kadina. Together they have three young boys.
Leanne has been active in her professional development since 2011 when she attended a Field Day event, which at that time was run by Partners in Grain (later becoming WoTL). In 2017, she revitalised the group, which then became the WoTL group. As Co-ordinator since then, Leanne has organised many events, including workshops on farm safety, a crop walk, women’s health and yoga classes, and mindfulness through art.
Leanne is confident in speaking of the benefits of the WoTL group, having participated in short courses on office efficiency, finance, and resilience. “Next year we’re looking to continue wellbeing as well as marketing. Sometimes women underestimate their role in a farming business. So a real mix of technical and lifestyle and empowerment training (is required).”
Leanne says when she initially considered joining the SITL program, she was hoping to make connections with other women and expand her network. “The content of the course is awesome, but the conversations and connections even more so. I think everybody has days where you think ‘Oh how am I going to manage?’, but through your connections or through a post on Facebook you can reach out, and know that others are going through similar to what you are. And you can ask questions or provide support.”
Leanne has also gained skills in goal setting, purpose, and managing demanding and often competing schedules as a mother, farmer, wife, and business owner. “The WoTL group have helped me manage with time management skills and keeping systems in place. I’m only a part of the way through SITL, but already I’ve got lots of skills in goal settings and (knowing) where you’re spending your time.”
The structure of the SITL program also holds appeal. “It was great to meet the other participants straight up, that way you get to know who you’re talking to. And because we’re across the whole state, webinar is perfect for that. It’s a safe learning environment. There’s lots of connections. And there is lots to be gained out of it.
Watch the full interview below: