Rural life coach Frances Beeston has taken on the role of Rural Support Trust (RST) Mid Canterbury welfare co-ordinator for the Mycoplasma bovis response.

Ms Beeston has a dairy farming background along with a rural life coaching and consulting business.

''Frances Beeston steps up from within the welfare team immediately into the co-ordinator role and will effortlessly continue the substantial progress made to date,'' a statement from the trust said.

''RST recognise that farming families are often partnerships between husband and wife, parents and grandparents, children and the wider family, which require a multilayered, tailor-made approach which addresses the needs of the individual as well as the farming business.''


Her appointment follows the resignation of former co-ordinator Angela Cushnie, who resigned after less than three months in the role, in protest at a decision made by the national office which she believed was likely to adversely impact on farming families.

RST Mid Canterbury chairman Peter Reveley said biosecurity and disease control was at the forefront of the trust's minds and he was enormously proud of the people working on behalf of the wider community.

''Angela and her team have offered a great deal of knowledge, empathy and understanding in the past three months and with the help of the facilitation team have established a good rapport with farmers and rural professionals alike.''

There were some families who were unaware of the work the RST did but were now advocates for the knowledge and resourcefulness they offered - whether it was health, financial or focused on the ''life with M. bovis journey''.

''For over 30 years Mid Canterbury Rural Support Trust have been the eyes and ears in the community for our rural folk, and recent events have consolidated this,'' Mr Reveley said.

''An increase in the capacity of the welfare team of people on the ground, and resources they have available to help, is a direct response to the needs in our region.

''An adverse event the size and scale of the phased eradication response to the Mycoplasma bovis incursion has highlighted the need for support outside of a natural disaster such as snow, earthquake or drought.''

He said there were welfare strategies under way in conjunction with the Ministry for Primary Industries, Federated Farmers, Dairy NZ, Beef + Lamb NZ and the Canterbury District Health Board, but RST Mid Canterbury was open to suggestions or solutions, to ensure all bases were covered for their rural community.


Ms Beeston and the RST team can be contacted on 0800 787-254.

Central Rural Life