Ali Mee is not only a Mum to two beautiful girls, Brianna (4) and Carley (1.5) she is also currently the technical support manager on a 2800ha sheep and beef property in Cheviot.
Being the down to earth woman that she is, she down plays her involvement but it takes more than just anyone to complete the technical side of the operation. Ali gathers data on stock performance, pasture readings as well as health and safety and also helps out as required with tractor work and general farm work.
Ali attended Lincoln University where she started out with an animal science degree, but being a vet was her lifelong dream so after a year at Lincoln she ventured up to Massey University for the 1st semester vet science. Even though she didn’t make the next stage of vet science she returned home to Greenpark in Canterbury where she worked on an outdoor commercial pig breeding unit for 8 months before going back to Lincoln to finish her animal science degree.
While back at university she worked on dairy farms to pay her way before taking on a full time position after graduation on a 450 cow dairy farm.
After marrying her husband Jared, they headed overseas for a couple of years spending time driving tractors and harvesting cotton in Australia. Then an adventure to Canada to manage a small angus ranch along with guiding horse treks through the Canadian Rockies provided them with an experience of a lifetime.
Upon returning home they took on a job at Whiterock Mains, near Rangiora. Ali had a few casual roles while there including taking pasture readings, recording animal performance data, tractor driving and general help where she could. During this time, they had a lease block which Ali ran running approx. 100 dairy heifers. She also reared 100 Friesian bull calves each year. It was around this time she took on a position at mainland grazing.
“I absolutely loved my role at mainland grazing as a weigh technician. I would select stock, monitor and manage stock on grazing contracts for the likes of Silver Fern farms and the Fonterra export heifer programme. I also worked in the office when needed and enjoyed seeing the business side of things. “
After 3.5 years an opportunity to step up into management opened up on the neighbouring farm at Okuku pass. In this role Ali reared approx. 270 calves the first year and 150 the second as well as helping hubby where help was needed. Not to mention raising their two children.
Recently they were offered an opportunity to work for the owners of mainland grazing on their farm in Cheviot and this is where the Mee family currently reside.
Throughout all the years Ali has also been lucky enough to be involved with barrel racing on my horses and travel the rodeo circuit competing each year. Over the last few years she has been a valuable volunteer on the Canterbury rodeo committee along with helping organise barrel racing jackpots in Canterbury for barrel racers.
Ali believes the agricultural industry is so diverse and challenging with endless opportunities and potential for improvement. The science behind it drives her to succeed within the industry and she hopes to play a pivotal role along the way. It's such a vibrant industry to be a part of with new innovations, research and extraordinary people. It is an environment where there is always something new to learn, and in all countries of the world. There will always be a need for agriculture for as long as we need to eat and I am really excited to see where it will take me in the future.
Inspirational words Alison, you are another amazing mother, wife and rural woman, making positive impacts into our industry. Keep up the great work.