Caren Bailey is the Herder of Beef Breeders. As General Manager of Performance Beef Breeders (PBBnz), Caren is passionate about making farmers lives easier. She wakes up every day, puts her heels on and goes to work and challenges the status quo. Based in Feilding at PBB House, which they share with their tenants Beef + Lamb NZ, Primary ITO, CEDA, NZ Hereford Association and Angus New Zealand. Caren loves working in friendly Feilding - the rural hub of the Manawatu and a key agribusiness region in New Zealand.

"Often, I’m the only woman in a room full of men. I have to back myself, believe in myself and stay true to my values."

"Often, I’m the only woman in a room full of men. I have to back myself, believe in myself and stay true to my values."

PBBnz is not a stock standard business model. In Carens' role, she leads a diverse team of 16 staff and wears around 17 different hats. Not only is she a herder of Beef Breeders but an event principle, a graphic design, web manager, a seller of tags, a DNA tester, a sheep recorder, an on-farm software innovator, an accounting overseer, a recruiter and a mediator to name but a few. As an AgWoman, she constantly juggles work, as well as home life. Married to hubby, Craig, for 25 years, they have two beautiful daughters who keep her on her toes!

Globally, PBBnz is the only business in the world that have brought beef breeds together to provide economies of scale. "I have no run sheet. I can’t benchmark myself against my peers. Often, I’m the only woman in a room full of men. I have to back myself, believe in myself and stay true to my values. I do this job because I thrive on challenge and the diversity of people intrigues me. Challenge extends you as a person and I’m proud that I have been able to build a culture for staff and stakeholders at PBBnz."

Caren's advice to women in the industry is to surround yourself with the right people and to consider a mentor – not necessarily an industry specific one.
"Outside eyes can offer you objective thinking. I’ve been told I treat this company like it’s my own and I believe you have to have that passion and heart to drive you forward and succeed. My goal has been to offer our shareholders a dividend. That day is drawing near and I know then that I would have accomplished this for my staff, my shareholders and most importantly, myself."

Passion and the heart to drive forward is something we recognise within many of the AgWomen stories we have told so far. Thanks for being so passionate about the industry, we need people like you to keep up the momentum of the primary industries!