Natalie Campbell is the Brand Manager for Hereford Prime NZ Ltd. Telling stories is something that Natalie Campbell has made a career of, but it’s been the telling of New Zealand's agricultural stories that really gets her excited.
Natalie grew up on a sheep and beef farm in the Wairarapa and was always involved and passionate about farming. She grew up doing the lambing beat for the family’s stud ewe flock (while her dad took care of the commercial ewes.) Payment was in new wet-weather gear and gumboots. She’d rousy, manage the seed and fert in the back of the direct drill, help with the preparation and exhibiting of the rams and Hereford cattle at show time. She even ran a 10acre block for an elderly family friend finishing lambs 60 lambs on it for several years – among other things.
However it was not until her late teens she found a passion for writing, after being encouraged to find a career outside farming. “I desperately wanted to go farming, but was steered down another career path. I’d grown up watching my parents struggle through Rogernomics and they were naturally looking to protect their children from the same battles.”
“Journalism was a role I was lucky to fall into – I was never an A grade English scholar by any means but I found I enjoyed writing stories and this combined with good listening skills and an eye for detail all came in handy when I started my journalism cadetship.”
But agriculture was never far from her mind and it didn’t take long before agricultural journalism became the focus. After a stint on some daily papers, which included growing the agricultural content of those papers and two years overseas, she travelled to England as an agricultural exchange student. Where she worked on a drystock and poultry farm for a year and Natalie’s second year was spent in London party planning. She then secured a job with Country Wide Publications. She remembers this was such an amazing job, travelling to parts of the country most people would never get to see and meeting some inspiring farmers and learning a whole heap.
She says even though, she’s currently not a journalist per se, she’s still sharing stories in her current role as Brand Manager for Hereford Prime NZ Ltd. It’s a very diverse role which includes telling the stories from the supply chain and brand to consumers, clients and business partners. It’s a challenging and rewarding job which offers plenty of variance. She works with farmer’s right through to the brand customers and business partners.
As Natalie is the only employee of the brand she handles most of the key chores attached to a quality beef programme – from managing the social media accounts, to communications and marketing, to meeting logistics and minute taking, to the accounts to contract negotiation to helping source eligible cattle to attending bull sales – as well as juggling demands of a school age family.
“I run the brand from my spare bedroom in the Manawatu and work with a board of 10 farmers who are located from Matamata to Gore. It’s such a great job and I’m incredibly lucky to work with very dedicated and talented farmers, who I to learn from and are inspired by. I have been blessed by some of the people who have mentored and nurtured me throughout my career.”
The only thing missing, she says, is her own little patch of dirt to raise her family on, but plans are underway to change that.
“I just love the outdoors, working with animals and in the elements. Agriculture is a lifestyle that offers so much – especially to young people and I have a lot of fond memories from growing up on a farm. There’s a lot to be learnt by being outside and caring for animals along with developing sound work ethics – whether it be on a large or smaller scale.”
Natalie feels immensely proud and lucky, lucky to have found a path in an industry she loves and is dedicated to. She believes agriculture is one of the most vital industries in the world and to be part of just a small corner of that sector is simply incredible.
We feel the exact same way Natalie, lucky and proud to be apart of such a strong industry with such well connected communities. Your career must be a great way to combine your skills both within the rural sector and communications.