Abbey Harward is 24 years old, her family is originally from Dannevirke, New Zealand. When Abbey was 7 years old her family moved from their small lifestyle block in NZ to Alberta, Canada, and this is where Abbey grew up. After finishing High School she moved to Bonn Germany and trained as professional Hairstylist. She didn’t have much of a life other than work and she realised it wasn’t the right lifestyle for her.
In May 2016 Abbey left for her home country New Zealand. With a love of animals, the outdoors, and a challenge, she decided to give Woofing a go. Her journey began on a bus to Tauroa Station in Havelock North. Tauroa Station is a Biodynamic Beef and Sheep farm with a Feijoa orchard. She had no idea what biodynamics was and she knew little about farming, but after a few days she knew she wanted to learn more.
After finishing at Tauroa Station, Abbey began Wooffing at Hohepa in Clive, a disability service provider, where they run their own Biodynamic gardens and Dairy farm. To her this is was all a bit ironic, as her first ancestor who immigrated to NZ in the 1800’s was a Botanist, Farmer, Nurseryman, Florist and seedsman. He set up Nursery’s in Napier and Clive, and was known as the 'Father' of the Hawkes Bay’s pip fruit industry.
Abbey then moved on to a job on a dairy farm in Tutamoe, Northland, where she spent three months. Her boss said she was “a bit of a shock to the system”, but lucky for her she was a fast learner and wasn’t sent home. Two months later she was trusted to look after the farm while the boss went on holiday. "Being given the responsibility to look after the farm was awesome and I managed to get through without a meltdown."
Abbey took a break after her contract was over and spent time with family. She decided during that time she wanted to work on another Dairy farm so she posted on the New Zealand Dairy farmers Facebook page, explaining that she was looking for work. Inundated with job offers from all over the country, she accepted a position in Dunsandel on a Dairy Farm where she is still currently employed as a Dairy Assistant.
"I absolutely love working in the agricultural industry, working outdoors, looking after the animals and caring for the land is really rewarding. My future plans are to continue learning about Agriculture, Horticulture, sustainable living, organics and biodynamics. I plan to travel and work on different farms, and then decide which direction in the Primary Industries I will go. I have proven to myself that I am able to do so much more than I ever thought. If we are able to push the limits and challenge ourselves anything is possible."
Hairdressing to farming is quite the different lifestyle but it sounds to us as though it is a life you would not change. You sound like you have learnt so much not only about the industry but about your own abilities. Abbey, your future will be full of hard work and happy days!