Brought up in the depths of Western Southland Jaimee Edwards is a true born and bred Southlander. Along with her two brothers, Jaimee's childhood memories were made while being raised on a sheep and beef farm in Western Southland. This is where her Dad taught her basic skills of farming as she followed him around helping him and they are skills she continues to use proudly today.
After leaving school Jaimee worked on stations throughout the South Island, an Agwoman with a great attitude she lives life by the motto, “work hard, turn up on time and be prepared for whatever the weather is going to do, and no one will worry that you are female as long as you do your best”
At 18 Jaimee got itchy feed wanted to experience traveling so ventured over to Australia, Queensland where she worked on a cattle station. Having a passion for horses all her life she was right at home as they used horses on the station daily, and it was from here her passion grew and all she wanted to do was come home and get all her own horse and western gear.
In 2009 Jaimee won the Speights Perfect Woman comp which she says gave her a lot of confidence and pride in being a practical woman that can turn her hand to anything.
She used some of the money that she won from the competition to put towards a trip to the UK. Just before leaving she met someone who became very special to her, which made the decision hard for me to leave, but he encouraged her to go and have a blast! Jaimee worked in Scotland on a sheep station, went to the Edinburgh rural show were she helped show Highland cattle and horse’s. Then she did a Contiki tour around Europe and then sailed Croatia before coming home.
Returning home, she moved in with her then partner Liam, at Garston. Gaining work as a casual muster she did stock work around the stations in the district. Now and then she would also help out Liam and his work and at the same time completed her class 4 heavy traffic license and did some truck driving and digger work. Just another set of talents to add to her CV. From there Jaimee took on a farm managers position at Five Rivers. Over this time Jaimee credited her boss for teaching her a lot of new skills as well as enabling her to be complete a diploma in farm management through Primary ITO. “My boss kept me involved in every area of farming and guided me to be more confident in my decisions” This is something she will be forever grateful for.
Liam and Jaimee also got engaged while farming at Five Rivers and had the added opportunity to buy into the Ag contracting business where Liam worked. They then decided to extend a branch of the contracting business to work from Jaimee’s family home farm, so they could start the succession into the farm.
In 2015 Liam and Jaimee were married in her parent’s garden, a day Jaimee describes as perfect, the way she had imagined it all coming together. In October 2015 they had the joy of finding Jaimee was 20 weeks pregnant and in March 2016 they became the proud parents of a healthy little boy, whom they decided to call Alex. Five weeks later tragedy struck the Edwards family and Liam was killed in a Helicopter accident in the Lindis Pass.
Jaimee says, “So now there is just me and my son, along with my parents on the farm. My passion is still farming and I am still out there educating myself in this industry, like doing an Agri Woman's Development Trust course to make myself better business minded and now I have more determination and confidence to take on the family farm for my son’s sake, and our future.”
Jaimee’s primary roll on farm at the moment is being a mum, which she loves. "I love being able to take Alex to work with me most days and bring him up farming like I was." She also does some casual work for the neighbour a couple of days a week and has recently taken over the office work for the home farm, to give her a good understanding of their business.
Jaimee’s number one hobby is her quarter horse mare Annie. "She has helped me through the hard times, it is my goal for her to be as versatile, well-mannered and practical as can be. I hope to get another young quarter horse next year to bring it on and train it myself. I love the farming lifestyle and the close, supportive rural communities that farming produces.”
You are one tough, strong independent Agwoman Jaimee Edwards. Alex is lucky to have you as a mum and we wish you both all the best on your agricultural journey.