Dayanne Martins Almeida was born in Brazil 33 years ago and spent most of her childhood and teenage years helping her parents with their small retail business as well as looking after her younger sisters. Dayanne was a town girl who had never ridden a horse nor experienced the country life. Life changed completely when she chose to study Animal Science back in 2004.

At uni Dayanne had to play the catch-up game in order to keep up with most of her classmates who were born and raised in a farming environment. So she joined several extramural study groups and used her free time to work at farms to gain practical experience and stockmanship skills.

It was at a field day organised by her study group when she got to know sheep farming. Dayanne was at the end of her first year at uni and since then has focused the rest of her study years in learning more about sheep.

In 2008, while looking for internship placements, she stumbled upon an article about the New Zealand sheep industry which sparkled her interest in going overseas and learning more from the top performers in the world. Not fearing (or realising) the language/culture barrier and how the unknown would treat her, she looked up on Google for sheep breeders associations in New Zealand to find farmers contact information. Dayanne sent out over 300 emails asking for an internship and offering in return her will to work hard. As she had no positive response she carried on working in Brazil. In January 2009 she sent another 200 emails and got a positive reply. 3 months later Dayanne was landing for the very first time in New Zealand.

With very limited English and not many skills suitable for New Zealand farm conditions Dayanne managed to immerse herself deep into the ‘system’ here and a 1-month stay agreement became 8 years living and contributing to the sheep industry in this country. She started as a farm hand in 2009, working her way up to assistant manager and, for the past 3 years, she has been working as Research and Development manager for Wairere Rams, the largest ram breeding operation in New Zealand. Alongside that Dayanne has been studying Sheep Genetics at Massey University as part of her Masters Degree.

Dayanne's love for farming has flooded her life with amazing people, places and happiness. It has become her mission. Through social media Dayanne has been sharing her work routine and that has brought about many opportunities as well as over 17k followers. Every year she travels back to her home country to speak for free to thousands of students, technicians, professors, farmers etc about her job, her journey and volunteer work. In light of the historical social problems faced in her home country, Dayanne finds it so rewarding to show to the younger generation, specially the females in her country, that where they come from does not pre-determine who they can be.

"I feel honoured to be part of this industry, the industry that feeds the hungry. I feel proud of whom I have become. I feel happy to motivate and inspire more young women to follow their dreams".

Dayanne's facebook page where you can find my live videos is www.facebook.com/sheepnutter

Wow Dayanne, you sound extremely determine and you deserve every bit of the success you have now. It is so inspiring to see you share your story and help influence others to be the best versions of themselves. We are proud to have you as one of our kiwi AgWomen.