Working in the agricultural industry was never a question for Ingrid. Coming from a family of 5 children growing up on a 3,700 acre farm it was always expected that Ingrid would lend a hand where it was needed. "From the simplest of tasks like grubbing thistles or helping to get dinner on when Mum came in late, to shearing, docking, drenching, scrub cutting … you name it, I was there." Ingrid's childhood wasn’t always just work – there were plenty of creeks to paddle in, bush to explore and blackberry to light on fire! "How could I not be passionate about agriculture when our workplace was also our playground?"
Animals, specifically, were always Ingrid's passion. She remembers that there was something that fascinated her and drew her to them. "This is probably why I studied Animal Science after 6th form at Massey while working for Rissington Breedline in the summers." After she graduated, Ingrid spent 18 months shearing in New Zealand and abroad before deciding to put her education to good use. She got a job as an Operations Assistant with Wagyu Breeders, helping to implement their electronic identification and genetic sampling program across the whole cattle herd. After a year she moved on to National Bank as a trainee Rural Manager, then moved to the role of Rural Manager in Rotorua after a year. After meeting her now husband she naturally wanted to be closer to him which led Ingrid home to Hawkes Bay to work for Ravensdown Fertiliser as an Agri Manager. "I loved this job as I literally worked from the ground up: doing soil tests, analyzing the results to produce a tailor made fertiliser plan then collaborating with stores, transporters and spreaders to get the product on the ground and producing results. It was simple, but rewarding work."
Ingrid is passionate about the wool industry and was fortunate enough to go over to Denver with Just Shorn to a flooring convention. She found it awesome to see New Zealand’s wool making a name for itself over there. She would love to be involved more in this industry in the future.
Ingrid and her husband now have a small block of their own where they graze and shear sheep for a local sheep trader all year round. With two small children and another on the way Ingrid doesn't manage to get into the shed, let alone onto the board, very much these days. She does try to help muster, shed up and rousie where possible and she does all of the admin work for the business. "I get cabin fever when I don’t get outside, even if it’s just for a walk to the woodshed to get an armload of firewood or to let the dogs off for a run."
When the children are older Ingrid hopes to take over some of the shearing to allow Rowly to slow down a bit. Ideally, She would love to be able to contribute financially to their business without having to work for anyone else. Ingrid loves how her Mum and Dad were always there for them before and after school and in the holidays and she wants the same for her children. "I want to be able to look after them when they’re sick without having to apply for sick leave, to be able to take family holidays without worrying about taking annual leave … financial and personal freedom are my ultimate goal."
What a great goal to have Ingrid and we have the same aspirations. The freedom, passion and family values rural life can bring is something which is so special about rural New Zealand.