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Career Stories

Monica Oakley – Wool classer

Wool classer Monica Oakley is looking forward to a long career in the wool industry – hopefully alongside a long international equestrian career. Previously from the Kapiti Coast, she had been riding fulltime when she helped at Wright Wool in Waipukurau in the busy season two summers ago and stayed. Her main job is at the door – classing, weighing ... Read More »

Kimberly Crewther – Dairy industry policy

Kimberly Crewther has cut a track through the dairy industry at the policy level, travelling, juggling three children and pumping out policy and strategy papers as she went. Not bad for the Heretaunga (Upper Hutt) College student whose teachers suggested she study business or a bachelor of arts or journalism degree – basically anything other than agriculture. But Kimberly knew ... Read More »

Daniel Russell and Andrea Wood – AB technicians

Daniel Russell, 24, started as an AI technician about six years ago when he was “at a loose end and wasn’t sure where to head next”. The LIC CRM who looked after his parent’s farms suggested training to become a technician and so Daniel gave it a shot. Historically his run was growing in size and he was heading down ... Read More »

Sarah Stephens – AB technician

Young, blonde and covered in crap on a daily basis, Sarah Stephens has been an AI technician with LIC for five years. She trained in Feilding and completed her apprenticeship near Levin – she is originally from Manakau Heights on the Kapiti Coast. Nowadays she is living with her partner on Otairi Station north of Hunterville but has been returning ... Read More »

Teresa O’Neill – Sheep/beef farmer

Teresa O’Neill works her family’s 1214ha Parapara farm with her cousin Paul. She grew up on the farm, and is the third generation of her family to work it. The property usually runs 15,000 stock units of Hereford/Shorthorn cattle and Romney sheep. Each year they buy in a Romney stud ram to breed their own rams from their stud ewe ... Read More »

David Skiffington – Lease farmer

Getting started farming in your own right can be a challenge and leasing is a great first option. Rebecca Harper investigates how it works and what you need to know about leasing. David Skiffington has five lease blocks and has developed his own philosophy and system for leasing, building up to a viable farm business for him and his young ... Read More »

Natalie Smith – Vet nurse

Putting retired working dogs to sleep was the worst part of the job for vet nurse Natalie Smith, so she decided to do something about it. “The starting point was taking home Tod. He was 12 years old and he came in to be put to sleep. He put his head on my knee and looked up at me with ... Read More »

Richard Batley – Lamb producer

Richard Batley from Taihape, representing the Roger Batley Farming Trust, won the top Ovation lamb supplier award for the 2011/12 season and travelled to the United Kingdom and Europe for a two-week, in-market tour with his friend Daniel Cottrell. The Batley trust supplied 87% of its lambs within specifications and within the planned time, winning Richard the $20,000 travel prize. ... Read More »

James McWilliam – Ovation marketer

James McWilliam’s friends wondered where his career was going when he spent a year on the slaughter floor and in the boning room of a Gisborne meat plant. But he says it was the making of him and by 24 he was working in a meat marketing role for Kiwi meat company Ovation in England. A combined physical education and ... Read More »

Hannah and Jaiden Drought – Sharemilkers

Building a business in the dairy sector doesn’t have to mean buying your own farm. In fact young Taranaki dairy farmers Jaiden and Hannah Drought say many young people shouldn’t rush into individual farm ownership. After only seven years in the sector and at the ages of 27 and 28 respectively, Jaiden and Hannah have managed substantial equity growth by ... Read More »