Holly Roulston grew up in Dunedin. After trying her hand at nursing and insurance broking she still felt she hadn’t really found her calling, until she met her Dairy Farming husband. Holly spent most weekends traveling to and from the farm, she would bake and cook plus helped out with shifting breaks, “not milking cows just yet – think he avoided giving me this job as I am really not a morning person”.
Holly enjoyed her first introduction to farming and remembers it being lots of fun working and achieving something together. Then couple were offered the opportunity to lower order share milk on his father’s dairy farm. Hesitant at first of the mega challenge, a big move for Holly being a city girl moving to the country, but they tackled it 100%. She was in charge of calf rearing, pasture management, milking cows and sorting wages. “A lot for a 21 year old who had no idea what she was doing. We learnt a lot over the years, adapting what we did in the calf shed, milk shed and management of staff. We made some good money in the first couple of years (thank you $8 payout) and were able to purchase an investment property, as well as do some travelling through Asia and Australia.”
Holly and her husband got married in 2011, and three kids soon followed. Time to be mum, Holly took a four year break from the hands on side of the farm, but still managed some of the office work. In 2016, Holly launched a company called Meals & More with the aim of providing healthy, budget friendly cooking classes to families. The idea came about because of the national focus on children’s lunch boxes and wanting to provide a starting point for parents. Holly really loves coming up with recipes, and sharing with others.
Last year she got back into the calf shed with the help of an au pair looking after the children, and really enjoyed being back on the farm and part of a team. “It is definitely a balancing act with family life, but we have learnt a lot over the past year. We will make a few changes and dive head first into this up and coming calving season.”
From Dunedin to Dairy Farming! It’s so interesting to hear how so many AgWomen transition from city life to that on a farm. We are so glad you are still looking forward to diving head first into all the challenges that life in the primary industries can bring.