Jo Booth is the Wairarapa/Tararua Area Manager for Pioneer Brand Products New Zealand. She is also a part time rider and staff member at East Coast Performance Horses as well as part time sheep wrangler and admin for Henry Balfour Crutching.
Jo was born a true farm girl, from before she could walk she was spending the day in the tractor with her father who owned and ran a large ag contracting business in the Wairarapa. Jo grew up with a very keen interest in cropping and machinery, especially tractors. Her mother came from a horsey family so her sister and her developed a love of horses from a very early age. They both still compete in showjumping and showhunter around the lower North Island. When Jo was 10 her family sold the contracting business and her parents took over a family sheep and beef property at Whareama, They also purchased some good cropping land in the area. Today they still live and farm the cropping blocks and still lease the family S&B block in conjunction with family.
Jo spent 5 years boarding at St Matthews Collegiate school for girls, managing to convince the teachers to let her take agriculture by correspondence until it was available in year 12 and 13. After school she spent a year working at Leconfield Jackaroo and Jillaroo school in NSW Australia, teaching tourists about farm life as well as how to ride horses and shear sheep, Jo moved back home and went off to Lincoln University for 3 years where she obtained a Bachelor of Agri Commence with a minor in plant production. Jo spent her summers working for PGG Wrightson Seeds research centre at Kimihia and a summer studentship working for the Foundation of Arable research (FAR). Both jobs continued to develop her interest in crops and arable farming.
After uni Jo spent a year traveling and working in Canada. She did some seeding and a harvest on a large cropping property south of Saskatoon in the Saskatchewan, Canada. After returning home Jo worked as an Graduate Agronomist for Elders before moving to her current job with Genetic Technologies Ltd. "We have the license to sell Pioneer Brand products in New Zealand. I love my job I get to work closely on farm with fantastic dairy and cropping farmers every day. We are in the business of growing supplementary feed for farmers, we support them every day from the decision making and growing of the crop right through to feeding and everything in between. This is mostly Maize but is also Lucerne, Sorghum, Sugarbeet and Silage inoculants."
In Jo's spare time she helps her parents on their 250ha cropping farm and 300ha S&B block. They also have a family sport horse and breeding business which she spends a lot of her spare time involved in. "We are breeding exciting sport horses with international bloodlines for the showjumping and eventing market. So most weekends Sept-April are spent at horse shows, which is something my whole family enjoy. My fiancé and I also live on our own little 30ha block where we rear calves and run a few sheep in conjunction with Henry’s very busy mobile crutching business. I love this industry, the people you meet are always interesting and theres always something new to learn. I gain a lot of pleasure knowing I work in an industry that’s the backbone of our country and feeds the world."
Wow you are a busy gal Jo but we can tell you absolutely love what you do. The primary industries are so great to be a part of as you can be involved in so many different aspects and it sounds like you are doing just that. Keep up doing what you are doing. You are nailing it!