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Career Stories

Katey Craig – Shepherd

Katey Craig feels on top of the world with her job at Otiwhiti Station but then being on top is something she should be used to. She was top student in her cadet year and has since represented New Zealand at world young shepherds contest where she again came out, yes, on top. Flying to France to pit her skills against ... Read More »

Mike Winter – Vineyard assistant manager

Some might say Mike Winter has had a lucky run moving from Lincoln University graduate to assistant manager of a large Central Otago vineyard in just over three years. But as Lynda Gray discovered he’s done the hard yards and recently tested – and proved – his mettle in a national viticulture contest. Pruning vines on a frigid Central Otago ... Read More »

Monique O’Connell – Consulting officer

Two years ago Southland was one of the last places Monique O’Connell, 23, thought she would end up. “I came here for a week on a uni trip with Lincoln and it rained and it blew and it was so cold,” she said. At the end of her four year AgScience (Hons) degree she applied for one of four graduate ... Read More »

Matt Nilsson – Operations manager

Matt Nilsson, 24, says his father used to tell him to pick one thing in life and be good at it. For him it’s dairying in the south. He is operations manager on Ted Wong’s three dairy farms near Balclutha but as a kid he lived on a sheep-and-beef farm in Hawke’s Bay. When Matt was seven his family went ... Read More »

James Hudson – Deer farm manager

James Hudson is 100% focused on velvet and is swimming against the tide; building deer numbers while others are slimming down herds. The 25-year-old is deer manager on the Hudson family’s South Canterbury property, Oakley. He’s has been at the helm since 2009 when he came home from Lincoln University with his Dippy (Diploma in Agriculture). The job includes managing ... Read More »

Kurt Haldane – Velvet grader

Think velvet and you might conjure up 1970s lounge suites and ugly pantsuits. But for a select group of people, velvet is all about the soft stuff on stags heads. Grading deer velvet is an uncommon job but a rewarding one. The velvet cutting season runs from October through to late May, and during this time millions of dollars worth ... Read More »

Rhea Nelis – Economic service manager

At just 25, Rhea Nelis is convinced she has the perfect job for life. The Northland-Waikato Beef + Lamb New Zealand economic service manager is relishing her job in the sheep-and-beef industry and whatever path her life takes, she is unlikely to venture far from agriculture. Her goal is to be her own boss and own her own piece of ... Read More »

Rachel Joblin – Consultant

They say if you want something done, ask a busy person. Rachel Joblin is one of those people who gets things done. Recently she picked up the NZX Agri Farmers’ Choice Award, given as part of the Farmax Consultants of the Year Awards. She works part-time from her home in Pongaroa as a consultant for Feilding-based Stantiall and Partners. Add ... Read More »

Josh Macdonald – Sharemilker

At just 22, Josh Macdonald is in his second year of sharemilking and with his wife, Aleshia, is building equity by 30% each year. Josh loves dairy farming and loves milking cows – especially Jersey cows, a trait bred into him by his family who have been breeding them since 1936 with his great-grandfather’s “Poplar Brae” herd. Josh was assistant ... Read More »

Liza Whalley – Cut flower exporter

Liza Whalley was born with green fingers – and possibly thumbs – although as a kid, training dogs was what she wanted to do with her life. With two horticulturally trained and green career-focused parents, her blood runs green, so it was perhaps inevitable that in her Bachelor of Science degree, the horticultural elective papers would win out over the ... Read More »