AgWomen Nicole Oliver

Nicole Oliver grew up in the Waikato region and developed a passion for the agriculture industry, drawing from a sheep and beef background. Her favourite memories as a child were at Christmas time on her grandparent’s King Country farm, and at shearing time and knowing the wool produced was ‘magically’ turned into fibre used in clothing, carpeting and furnishing. Nicole's inspiration for her study and involvement in the industry, in particular strong wool; is from her Grandfather, who always believed in doing things differently. His views on the world always challenged traditional thinking and from an appreciation of an industry he was involved in, Nicole would like to help ensure it has a long term and viable future.

Nicole's journey has included completing the Kellogg Rural Leadership Programme, a Masters and undergraduate degrees all while working in the primary sector. The Masters degree in Agribusiness from The University of Waikato, was completed with a thesis on the “Future of the Coarse Wool

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Industry”, and involved research on strong wool production in New Zealand, with a focus on adding value to strong wool and the wider wool industry.

 

 

"I am incredibly passionate about the future of strong wool in New Zealand. Globally, wool makes up less than 1% of the fibre market, mainly due to the impact of synthetic fibre. If something drastic is not done about the strong wool industry, I firmly believe that in less than fifty years the industry may not exist. The desire to see a viable, sustainable future for the strong wool industry is what has driven my current and future research. I am about to begin a three year journey as part of a doctorate (PhD) to find what the future of fibre and the role of the strong wool industry could be through the University of Waikato."

Nicole, the wool industry is extremely lucky to have you on their side and looking out for future sustainability. All the best for your upcoming research.

AgWomen Dani Darke

AgWomen Dani Darke

Dani Darke feels extremely lucky to be farming a beautiful farm in the King Country with her husband Anthony and their three young children. Her role on the farm covers everything from mustering and dagging to strategic planning and financial analysis of their business.

Dani grew up on a small lifestyle block in a semi-rural area on the outskirts of Wellington, going to school in the city. After graduating with a degree in Agriculture from Massey University, Dani spent several years as a Rural Bank Manager before heading overseas. On return Anthony and Dani went farming in partnership with his parents. After having children she decided to head back to paid work and was the Livestock Manager for a Lamb and Mutton exporting Company Te Kuiti Meats. This role gave Dani great insight into the supply chain, and in particular it highlighted for her the need to strengthen the relationships, and the understanding farmers have with our consumers.

After purchasing the farm off Anthony’s parents two years ago, Dani is now back on the farm full time. The couple have spent the past two years examining their business and trying to find ways to make it more profitable. Part of this has been the development of 100ha into a bull beef finishing system. Another part has been simplifying it down to key components meaning they have stopped cropping, and have cut down the number of different stock groups. "We are trying to find our ‘Hedgehog Concept’ – something really simple that we can do really well."

Participating in a 12-month Leadership and Governance course in 2016 (AWDT Escalator) helped Dani to crystallise her ‘Why’ around her involvement in the Sheep and Cattle industry.

"For me our industry is all about our rural communities. This is what gives New Zealand its character and has shaped the spirit of our country. But rural communities are quick to stagnate and disappear without profitable farms supporting that environment. Hence my ‘Why’ is all about ensuring rural communities stay vibrant by promoting farming businesses to be more profitable. This has led me on to co-founding a farming business discussion group where we are focussed on being top 20% farmers – in life and in business. It has also driven me to become a member of the Beef + Lamb Farmer Council, and a member of the Board of Trustees for our local primary school."

Dani has recently returned home from a trip with Beef + Lamb to the International Beef Alliance Conference in Paraguay. This was an amazing eye-opening experience for Dani.  She got to see first-hand the innovative Paraguay farmers that are achieving some incredible things on their land, and she got a great insight into International Trade and many of the intricacies involved there.

"I am so grateful to be able to call myself a farmer, it has been a lifelong dream, and to me is the ultimate job. I love animals, and feel a maternal bond to every lamb and calf that is born here! I love the environment, the trees and the birds, and we spend time and resources enhancing these special areas on the farm. I get to work with my husband every day, and feel absolutely privileged that we can do this together, even though sometimes we make each other crazy. We are bringing our kids up in a vibrant, supportive, and fun community, and I have no doubt that this will set them up well to become positive contributors to our world.

Dani you have hit the nail on the head, our rural communities are so unique and special.  Something, like you, I am sure we all appreciate and want to preserve.

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AgWomen Lynsey McQuinn

AgWomen Lynsey McQuinn

Originally from Northland, Lynsey McQuinn grew up with her time being split between town and country. On her completion of high school, Lynsey spent four years working for the National Bank while studying part-time. She then engaged in full-time study to complete her degree faster, graduating with a Bachelor of Business (Finance) through Massey University. As agriculture was always an interest, her elective papers were generally agricultural focussed. 

AgWoman Sarah Von Dadelszen

AgWoman Sarah Von Dadelszen

Sarah von Dadelszen is like a lot of farming mums balancing the role of the farm, family and off-farm commitments. She finds herself taking on interesting governance roles in the primary industries as well as being a full time taxi driver, tennis coach and constant food provider to three busy boys aged 8, 12 and 14, and along with husband Sam, operates a 13,000 stock unit sheep and beef property and a 350 cow dairy farm near Takapau in the Central Hawke’s Bay.

AgWomen Summer Klempel

AgWomen Summer Klempel

Summer Klempel, a town girl from the West Coast of the South Island always had a passion for farming and the outdoors. When she was 10 years old she went to a local dairy farm open day near her home, giving her a taste and sparkling her initial interest in agriculture. Despite being a town girl Summer went on to study agriculture at high school and returned to the same farm and asked for work. Summer ended up milking before and after school, before moving into a full time position.

AgWoman Mavis Mullins

AgWoman Mavis Mullins

Starting out as a rousie working in the shearing shed, Mavis Mullins has built a fulfilling career in the agri-sector. With her first love being the wool industry, Mavis’s passion for the primary industries has centred on her advocacy and commitment to Maori and Maori businesses, rural women and a strong sense of whanau with a common sense approach.

AgWoman Emma Pollitt

AgWoman Emma Pollitt

Not from a farming background, Emma Pollitt grew up in the North Island town of Gisborne. On leaving high school she ventured to the Wairarapa and completed training at Taratahi Agricultural Training Centre. She began her farming career as a shepherd before moving into working with large animals at a vet clinic in Wairoa. An opportunity to move home to Gisborne saw Emma take up her current role as a Technical Field Representative for PGG Wrightson.