Hesta Cudby always knew she would be a farmer. She grew up on her family dairy farm in the Waikato, and was very hands on from a young age. Helping with anything she could after school and on weekends. Especially loving being outdoors and with the animals.

When Hesta left school she was unsure what she was going to do. She spent a summer polo grooming for family friends, and back to help her dad on the farm over winter & spring. Hesta did two winters at home before horses took her to Australia & England. Returning to NZ, she decided it was time to get a ‘real’ job. In her eyes she was having far to much fun working for it to be a proper job. She lasted 10 months working in a liquor store, great fun but she missed the animals and the outdoors. It all worked out though as her dad was going in for knee surgery and offered her a job managing a dry stock block. "He had more faith in me than I did. But I was up for the challenge." Two years later, Hesta moved on to managing the dairy farm. She remembers it as hard work, but very rewarding. Hesta completed production management papers through Ag ITO which she really enjoyed.

Hesta got married in 2014, and with husband not so keen on milking cows, the couple decided it was time to find something to do together. She did a season of casual work and they started a small company, rearing calves relief milking. They then moved to Waimiha, to manage a 440h dairy support/dry stock farm. Share farming 550 ewes & 1100 cattle varying between weaner calves to mixed age cows that come down for wintering. Hesta rears 100-200 calves through autumn and spring and they also rent two houses out on the property to holiday goers, making it a very busy place!

Hesta loves the rural lifestyle and how it fits in with family life "Our son comes on the farm everyday with us. I love watching him grow and enjoy the small things we did as children. So yeah, I think I was always going to end up a farmer. But never in a million years would I have thought I would own sheep!" A dedicated AgWomen through and through! Keep up your inspiring enthusiasm for the industry Hesta!