Progression Groups

Developing skills and enhancing careers

Forums for like-minded farmers, Progression Groups have been developed for those who want to enhance their skills and career options. There are two groups to choose from: Biz Start and Biz Grow.

Biz Start

Designed to meet the needs of farmers in the variable order, contract milker, herd manager, 2IC and farm manager positions that are looking to progress in the dairy industry. Sessions will focus on building business and people management skills to equip them for senior level management positions, or owning or running their own farm business.

Biz Grow

Designed to meet the needs of farmers in sharemilker and equity partner positions that are looking to speed up their progression in the dairy industry. Sessions will focus on strategic, financial and performance management skills and resources to equip participants for greater equity holding or owning their own farm business.

An investment by New Zealand dairy farmers through the DairyNZ levy, Progression Groups are free to attend by all people involved in New Zealand dairy farming.

  • To read what other farmers say about the DairyNZ Progression Groups click here

"We've enjoyed it. Just the experience and getting a bit of know how on where to go, what to do and people to talk to in the dairy industry," Jonathan and Ashley Power, farm manager, mid-Canterbury.

"For anyone thinking of stepping up from managing to putting money into cows or heading down the sharemilking path it's a worthwhile thing to do." Nigel Gardiner, manager, Christchurch.

Progression Groups are perfect preperation for farmers interested in entering next year's New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards - of which DairyNZ are a proud sponsor.


Each course has:

  • A set membership, aligning the information presented to your career stage and skill level
  • Substantial contributions from farmers, rural professionals and industry experts providing valuable insight and advice - opportunities to ask those questions that help you get ahead
  • Practical exercises throughout the modules to provide you with direct skills and experience.

DairyNZ Progression Groups are tailored to improve farm business knowledge and build farmer confidence to allow progression through the dairy industry.

Topics include:

  • Goals and strategic planning - the building blocks to progression
  • Understanding the career pathways available in the Dairy Industry - how to climb the "Dairy Ladder"
  • Creating wealth / building equity
  • Tax management, business structures and succession planning
  • Budgeting and banking skills, including sessions with bankers with advice on lending and preparing a lending proposal.
  • Building a reputation and getting a job
  • How to be a better manager and get the best from your team
  • The importance of networking and building a support team around you
  • Understanding the key drivers of your business and how to benchmark them

What will it mean to be a DairyNZ Progression Group member?

You will become part of a group of 20-25 like-minded, progressive farmers.

You will commit to regular attendance and contribution. Each course is made up of key topic areas presented in regular, largely classroom format, sessions in your local area. Preparation work is also a requirement of these groups.

Effort equals reward. This investment of time and effort will ensure your skill level, career and network of farmer contacts is enhanced.

For more information about Progressino Groups or to register your interest cnotact your local DairyNZ consulting officer or call the DairyNZ Farmer Information Service on 0800 4 DAIRYNZ (0800 4 324 7969)

Progression Groups

Case Studies

Read about farmers who have attended Progression Groups here.