Andrea Harborne and her husband Nye live on a lifestyle block near Mt Somers. The couple, along with their two children, have seven horses, and a handful each of cattle, sheep and chickens on their Mid Canterbury block. Together they have built up and run a construction company, Harborne Construction Ltd, servicing the Ashburton district, where Andrea manages the administration side of the business.
After finishing at Ashburton College, Andrea ventured to Palmerston North to try her hand at Vet. When she didn't get in she cut her losses and returned to the South Island. Andrea spent six months dairy farming before heading to Lincoln University to complete a Bachelor of Science majoring in Animal Science.
Having been with her husband since secondary school, the couple moved to Gore where Andrea got her first job out of Uni, in the PGG Wrightson Ltd store. They spent two years in the deep south before returning to Ashburton, where Andrea transferred to a new role within Fruitfed Supplies, a division of PGG Wrightson. Taking a role as a horticulture rep servicing the area, mainly working with potato growers.
"I had no experience with potatoes or horticulture. I think they must have liked my outgoing personality and willingness to learn and thought they would give me a go. I remember when they asked me what I knew about potatoes I replied "You can boil them, mash them, roast them." But I really enjoyed the role and learning on the job was the best way to learn."
Whilst working within her horticulture role, Andrea was instrumental in bringing a high tech crop monitoring programme to Canterbury for Fruitfed Supplies/PGG Wrightson. Once her first daughter Scarlett came along she then moved into running the Crop Monitoring business in Canterbury. This involved weekly checks of crops, measuring and monitoring, and filing reports to farmers. What started out as part time roles for a couple of staff, quickly grew to a full time position, with multiple staff at different times of the year.
Andrea worked alongside her mother, and has recently passed over the reins, taking a backseat in the running of the crop monitoring business to concentrate on her family and their construction enterprise.
"I love working within the primary industries. Not only is it an important part of our economy, but I love being able to work outside. I really love to see hard work pay off and businesses thrive."
Andrea you are a perfect example of the fact that you can do anything with the right attitude. We love how your dabble in potatoes took you on a completely new ag adventure!