Wearer of many hats, Greta Baynes describes herself as a people connector, family chef, milk maid and animal lover. She has a real passion for growing the agricultural industry and through her many roles is able to do that. Greta is a PrimaryITO dairy course tutor for Dairy Training Ltd (a subsidiary of DairyNZ); a Vet, completing consultancy work for a small number of clients; and Office Manager for her brother’s firewood business on the East Coast.
Born on a sheep and beef ballot farm in Taupo, Greta's family moved to Wairoa during primary school, where she was fortunate that her folks bought a slice of paradise. A back country block running sheep, beef, deer with numerous tracts of native bush. Greta loves being outside and helping on the farm, it was here that she learned to shear, with a best tally 258 lambs. She describes the bush as her happy place, and developed her passion for hunting and gathering. Even now, she heads home whenever she can to her own little piece of serenity.
Greta attended Massey University, completing a year of an Applied Science Degree before being accepted into Veterinary School. She managed to continue with some Ag papers while completing Vet and after graduating with only a couple left to go. Her first job was as a Large Animal specialist at Totally Vets in Fielding, where she spent nearly 5 years. Greta then made the move to Taranaki and became a dairy farming partner. After the arrival of two children in two years Greta stopped clinical practice, but continued with a little tutoring and became chief helper on the farm. This involved rearing all calves, relief milking, vet, and fence putter uppperer to name a few tasks. Unfortunately the relationship didn’t work out, but it was the impetus Greta needed to get more involved in the Dairy Industry.
Through her work with Dairy Training, Greta spends time travelling around South Waikato tutoring classes. Having recognised barriers to the students’ success, Greta has recently redesigned a Level 4 course breaking it down into smaller achievable modules and added practical assessments that draw on the students current farming practice rather than written components. This has seen an increase in course completion rates and student confidence and success. "For me, it’s about empowering the students, their learning, their achievements, their success. I want people to get better – better at animal health, feel better about themselves, move forward, make progress."
Greta also runs a ‘Train the Trainer’ programme for rural professionals around the country. This aims to improve their knowledge and confidence about presenting to a farmer audience. The course has been so successful, with funding from PGP, that Greta is currently developing a ‘Train the Trainer – the next step’ course focussing on advanced presentation and communication skills. Greta still finds time to keep up her Vet work with a small number of clients who she works with in a consultancy capacity. She works with a focus on solving animal health problems and instigating preventative programmes to avoid cost, losses and stresses in the future. To keep her extra busy Greta is the front person for her brother’s firewood business, completing all of the phone work, orders, deliveries, and accounts.
Wow Greta you are a super dedicated Agwomen. Passing on the passion to our future farmers, in a way that ensures that they can experience success and grow in confidence only makes the future brighter for the primary industries. We admire your myriad of talents and knowledge!