Jen Corkren is an agronomist in the technical development team for one of New Zealand’s leading proprietary pasture companies. The job entails everything to do with ryegrass, clover and basically any home grown feed. Every day is different for Jen and any given month will encompass a whole range of things. This could include research, development of new ryegrass lines coming through the plant breeding programme, pasture management trials and work helping farmers and industry people. Jen and her team also do a lot of on-farm education and extension… basically it all comes back to the good science (and New Zealand’s advantage) of getting the most from home grown feed. Overall, Jens job is largely focused on bringing good, well researched products to market so farmers can achieve good results.
The company Jen works for largely breeds ryegrasses and a big part of her job is helping to find the ‘next best thing’ from the new potential breeding lines that we trial all over New Zealand. Once the best ones are found - whether they are a type of grass that grows the most, or persists the best in any given environment - then they also aim to work out how they will best fit into farmers systems and help educate people around this.
Jen is also heavily involved in a lot of science based industry good work both within her own company (NZ Agriseeds) and also working together with other seed companies and outside organisations to help New Zealand farmers get the most from their businesses. Generally, to be the most profitable, New Zealand farmers must feed their animals the most grass and home grown feed protein possible, and turn this into protein for New Zealand and for the world (whether that is milk, meat or wool!).
"I started life at a rural primary school near Waipukurau in Central Hawkes Bay and from there, I knew where I was headed; for a career in New Zealand’s primary industry."
Jen your knowledge and understanding of the agriculture sector is impressive. Keep up the hard work!