Hemoata Kopa has big dreams as an AgWoman from Ngapuhi (Matawaia) in Northland. The 22-year-old grew up with her grandfather and clearly remembers her first experience of farming was helping on his lifestyle block where he ran 100 odd cows. She would also spend some of her holidays helping her dad on the farm that he was working on at the time. This young motivated woman is now a shepherd on Pipi Bank Station which is privately owned and is located on the coastal area of Herbertville.

After leaving school Hemoata attended Taratahi Agricultural Training Centre, Masterton, from 2014 – 2016. Here she studied sheep and beef and gained a number of qualifications, including the National certificate in agriculture with level 3 & 4 sheep & beef.

During her studies Hemoata was grateful and very thankful to have received financial help from many businesses by being awarded many scholarships and was also a finalist in the Ahuwhenua Young Maori Farmer of the Year competition in 2015 and 2017.

She would like to thank the following businesses for their assistance: Salvation Army (Jeff farm scholarship), Landcorp Slinkskin, Northland Field Days, Beef and Lamb and the ADB Williams trust.

Whilst training at Taratahi, Hemoata worked on Tautane Station as a student/shepherd during her holiday periods and some weekends a group of students would do a couple of jobs for local farmers around the Wairarapa area, crutching, shearing, etc anything to make a bit of coin.

In 2015 Hemoata was placed on Hadleigh, which is a part of the Lonestar group of farms as a requirement for her level 4 qualification. However, 2 months into the position Hemoata unfortunately sustained a back injury rolling a quad bike which put her in a back brace for 6 months and light duties/recovery for 12months. Not one to be put off as she recovered she completed her farm placement on Tautane Station before going back to Taratahi to complete the Massey Diploma in agriculture.

Hemoata then secured a position as a junior/general shepherd working for ADB Williams Trust on Pukemiro Station which had a special relationship with Taratahi and kept her inregular contact with students from Taratahi.

She is now currently a shepherd/general on Pipi Bank Station which is 2000acres of steep country, the farm running 4000 Romney ewes and 200 Angus cows.

Hemoata has achieved a lot over a short time and in the future would like to experience working in the South Island. With a passion for the outdoor life, she loves the career path she has chosen and the variety of tasks she is given as part of her role as a Shepherd. In her spare time, you will find Hemoata training young pups for working dogs and horse riding, hunting, playing netball or just going to the beach.

“I want to advance my career in farming by working on different farms and doing more study with the goal of becoming a farm manager or owning my own farm. I also want to be a role model for other young people and to make them aware of the great jobs there are in the
agricultural sector.”

Well we think you are well on your way to achieving your goals Hemoata! Keep up the great work.