If you travel inland from Christchurch to the small down of Darfield you will find cheerful mother of two to Lexi & Harper, Amanda Schat who when first approached for her story believed she was just the peace keeper and dance mom of the family. But be reassured she is much more than just that.
Amanda grew up in Victoria Australia with no farming background let alone an interest in farming. At 18 she left home to travel to America as a Nanny before returning home after two years to pursue her love of make- up which after 5 years took her to the UK for another two years working for Christian Dior. Following a great experience in the UK returned home to manage one of the biggest cosmetic counters in Australia.
It was a holiday to New Zealand to attend a wedding that changed her direction in life following the meeting of her farming husband Daniel. With much disbelief to her parents she packed up and moved to New Zealand in 2008 and secured a job to manage a small team of 3 for Estee Lauder at Ballantynes in Christchurch as she settled into her new home.
As a couple they also started low order sharemilking, milking 800 cows and are now currently in their 5th and last season of 50/50 sharemilking for Daniels parents. Next season they are very excited to become farm owners having purchased their own 400 cow dairy farm near Darfield. A dream achieved and proof that with hard work and determination pays off over time.
With a love of travel Amanda and Daniel try and take an overseas holiday each year with the kids to create memories and step away from the farm which is a chance to reflect and re-charge, so there is always the chance to get back home to Australia from time to time.
Fast forward two years and life took another exciting change as Amanda and Daniel welcomed their first child Lexi (now 6). Being a stay at home mum was a big change but Amanda quickly learnt that calf rearing was what she enjoyed and working alongside Daniels father Harry for a couple of years taught her everything she know’s today.
When Lexi was 1, she was diagnosed with an incredibly rare chromosome disorder which opened the Schat’s families lives up to a whole new world, one that Amanda quickly had to learn how to navigate and accept.
Even though you won’t find her in the milking shed Amanda prides herself in raising excellent calves that the farm has a reputation for rearing. Last year two of her calves were sold for over $4000 each at a NZ Holstein conference sale, a very proud moment for all involved.
Now at Haglea farm they use a mix of overseas and NZ genetics and are venturing into polled A2 cattle.
Amanda also handles the human resources side of the business, dealing with any problems the staff may have, introducing the farms exchange workers to New Zealand and helping them settle into life in NZ. As they move onto the new farm Amanda will also be implementing, monitoring the new health and safety compliance work and is also working on investigating and setting up on farm apps to assist with payroll systems and the latest laws and farm regulations
“I'm proud to be a "farmer’s wife" and feel so incredibly lucky to be raising my family in such a way and love teaching the girls (well Lexi - Harper doesn't like cows - she prefers sheep!) all we know”
It’s very exciting to see you and Daniel moving forward Amanda knowing that everything you do now is just for your business. Great to hear you are both ready for the new challenge and we wish you all the best. Amanda you are defiantly a very valuable member of staff to the farm and a true Ag Woman.