Located from the quiet setting of Lovells Flat near Milton, Leanne Woodhead describes herself as “a bit of a mixed back of goodies – like milk bottles and jet planes they go together right? “ She is first and foremost a proud farmer’s wife to the one and only 2017 FMG Young Farmer of the year Nigel Woodhead, where she is considered to be his biggest win yet. Leanne is also an extremely creative designer with a huge passion for the primary sector. Her day to day role as the Otago Southland Territory Manager for Otago Southland Young Farmers is one she throws all her passion into. Why? because knowing she is helping make a difference in the sector each day, makes it worth getting out of bed exploring the beautiful region. Leanne says being an Agwoman is satisfying and she wouldn’t have it any other way.
Leanne’s story started in what she describes as the bread basket of Africa, Zimbabwe. Her father grew up on 11,300ha and came from a family of four so farming was in his blood. Growing up her father and Oupa ran a successful Tobacco farm, and also grew Paprika and Maize. They farmed in partnership with her Oupa, Tertius on their 600 ha farm known as Kenidia.
“I had a wonderful childhood, one that some kids only dream of. Driving through grass paddocks of wild life in a refurbished series 2 short wheel base land rover, we later learnt to drive. Holidays were spent at friends riding and swimming with elephants, fishing with the locals, riding the farm bike and spending time with friends and family. I started boarding school at five, where I learnt a lot about myself and you very promptly become independent. “Leanne truly feels her upbringing her parents provided for her shaped her into the amazing woman she is today.
In 2002 when the Africas’s economy well and truly collapsed and violence and death was a daily occurrence (wheat production dropped from 250,000 tonnes in 2000 to 7 tonnes in 2010). The family’s safety came first and Leanne’s father decided it was time for a fresh start to give his family a life they could enjoy and thrive in. Ploughing was one of her father’s many passions and as kids Leanne and her sister often competed at the queen of the furrow. Over the years the family competed in many ploughing championships and in 1994 her father was selected to come to New Zealand to plough in Outram. This was to be the start for his love for New Zealand and its people and therefore became and obvious choice to call their new home come 2002.
Being a graphic designer by trade, but with agriculture has always been in her blood Leanne wanted to make a life for herself where she could get the best of both worlds. Leanne has done just that, while she showcases the primary Industry through New Zealand Young Farmers in Otago Southland she is also living and assisting husband Nigel run their Milton farm. Like every busy rural woman, she manages to hold up a successful hobby which she has created into a business known as Remotelea Creative. She is working with her clients to create something unique for them and their businesses. From logos, brochures, business cards to signage this talented woman does it all.
Having experienced the misfortune of losing everything, Leanne believes that that is why she enjoys her current role so much. She believes the primary Industry is where we can make a real difference to the next generation. Her role has her working with schools to enforce a positive picture about the sector while promoting the careers within this space. It’s not hard to tell with her passion that she love’s helping others and seeing young people achieve their dreams and go places makes everyday a reward in itself.
Leanne your passion you share with everyone is contagious and you continue to complete everything 100% with a smile and gratitude. We are grateful to have you part of our primary industry and the next generation are so lucky to have someone like you leading them to success. You truly are an Inspiring AgWoman, keep up the great work.