For AgWoman Cheyenne Wilson her journey started in Southland where she grew up on sheep and beef farms in the Western Southland area. She spent many of her younger years on Mount Linton Station where she worked in the yards alongside her father. She also worked in the woolshed for the local shearing contractor and was known to be a helping hand in the cook shop from time to time.
Cheyenne has now spent five seasons in the dairy industry which all started when she was a nanny for Wairio farmer Kevin Dixon. It was here that she moved onto being a calf rearer with Kevin's wife Wendy. Being one up for a challenge she was juggling 4 jobs at the time and Kevin recognised that this was not sustainable and offered her a full time position. Taking on the position on the 1200 cow dairy unit gave her great insight into animal husbandry and pasture management and helped her progress up the ladder.
She spent three years with Kevin before moving to Canterbury to be an Assistant Manager for Hamish and Kayla McCulloch on a 780 cow farm near Hinds.
This is where she joined the Hinds Young Farmers Club and within a month was the club secretary.She is now the Club Chairwomen and says she has developed many great friendships through Young Farmers.
When Cheyenne moved to Canterbury she also got involved with Dairy Women's Network (DWN) and took on a role as Co-convenor now known as a Regional Leader. She believes the support from DWN has been instrumental in building her confidence and helping her get to where she is today.
Last year she entered the Dairy Industry Awards for the second time and was runner up in the Canterbury/North Otago Trainee of the year category. She also won 2 merit awards. She says it was a great way of bench-marking herself against others in the industry and provided some amazing networking opportunity.
Throughout her career Cheyenne has continued to study with Primary ITO and is currently completing the Level 5 Production Management paper.
At present she is the Assistant Manager for Nathan and Erin Christian on a 1100 cow farm at Ashburton Forks and come June will be moving on to manage a 600 cow farm near Culverden, North Canterbury for Emlyn and Hillary Francis.
There is always something to look forward in the industry and this year is no exception as Cheyenne has recently been named a finalist in the Ahuwhenua Young Maori Farmer for the 2018 competition and is really looking forward to the awards dinner on 25th May at Wigram Airforce Museum in Christchurch. We wish you all the best Cheyenne you are one truly inspiring Agwoman who has achieved a lot so far.