Emma Subtil grew up on Omarama Station in the South Island of New Zealand. A 12,000 hectare High Country property in the Mackenzie Country, the property runs cattle and merino sheep. For as long as Emma can remember she has been very involved on the farm. With parents Richard and Annabelle Subtil, being very open and inclusive, Emma has experienced much of what a family farm has to offer from day to day work, to strategic plans, farm succession and financials.
Getting all of the good holiday jobs, like cleaning out under the woolshed and rock picking, Emma reflects on a wonderful childhood growing up in the high country. She remembers taking holidays on the farm, camping at the old musters hut. If Emma and her brother Henry wanted to go skiing in the winter, or to the lake in the summer, they got up early and did the feeding out and breaks before they went.
Emma attended boarding school in Christchurch at Rangi Ruru, and quickly discovered how very lucky she was with her upbringing. In 2013 Emma became involved with Young Farmers. She helped to start a TeenAg club at her school, and was an executive member through to 2015 when she led the club. Emma moved on to Lincoln University and continued to be involved with Young Farmers. She was lucky enough to be elected first year exec member in 2016, Vice President in 2017 and is taking on the role of President for 2018.
"Young Farmers is a big part of what I do and a way to encourage people into the industry and to give back. With Lincoln being the second largest club in New Zealand, we are very active and have a great member base.
Each year there are two weekend trips visiting farms and businesses
around the South Island. We also have the annual Massey Ag Exchange
where we host or travel to Palmerston North each year and is a great way to network with other agriculture students. We also have speakers and training events throughout the year."
Emma is currently completing a Bachelor of Commerce (Agriculture) at Lincoln University. For Emma the move to Lincoln seems very obvious now, although at school getting into agriculture was not held in high regard compared with other industries. She really enjoys the course and the combination of business papers, with science papers and farm management. Emma loves that one of the unique parts of her course being the field trips and tours around Canterbury and into the North Island and Southland. Emma plans to finish her degree in 2018, and then continue to do her postgraduate and masters qualifications in agribusiness.
Emma is also involved with the Red Meat Network and New Zealand Institute of Primary Industry Management. She finds that these groups help her to network and learn from other rural professionals, she really enjoys hearing what is happening in the industry and what opportunities are out there.
After university Emma has aspirations to work with farmers growing their business and creating high value products. "I see myself potentially in a job that allows me to work with a variety of farmers and help them improve their businesses. Giving back to the industry, helping it progress and encouraging more people to get into this amazing industry are all things I want to achieve. I love the agriculture industry for so many reasons, but it boils down to the opportunity to work with people and animals in the outdoors creating quality and sustainable products that we get to share with the world -I am very proud of that."