Jessie Waiwiri was born in Taranaki, a region that has the best of both worlds. The beach, bush and mountains, where adventures were always had. Jessie did not grow up on a farm, but often visited friend’s farms, and spent a bit of time on the back of a horse. At the age of 10, Jessie moved to Brisbane with her mum, where life was fast paced and everything was just bigger. Feeling the pull of home, she returned 10 years on. Jessie met her now fiancé Leighton, a 3rd generation dairy farmer and a butcher, your typical Taranaki boy.

After some time, Jessie made the decision to swap high heels for gumboots moving onto the farm with him. 5 years later dairy farming has been a big part of their lives, and journey together as a couple. Something that they would not change for the world. "Farming is an industry that we are proud to be part of. It is something very close to my heart and something that my family would never have dreamed me being involved in. We look forward to progressing up in the dairy industry and for this to be not only our job, but out lifestyle and a husband and wife team."

Being part the industry has reignited Jessie's passion and love for animals and has encouraged her to take a new direction in life. Starting her studies with an Animal Care Certificate through Southern Institute of Technology to become a Veterinary Nurse and rural technician. "What I feel about the agriculture industry is something that I can’t seem to put into words. Being part of the Agwomen community is empowering, identifying the strength of women involved in this industry and setting a positive light for future generations."

While Leighton works on a 130-cow dairy farm outside Stratford, Jessie works full time in Mental Health Crisis Respite services. "To care and support people suffering or have the presences of mental health issues is very something I am very passionate about, being able to give back to the community is rewarding."

We are so glad to have you as part of the AgWomen community Jessie! You have the skills to be able to lift others up and we are so happy you too see the importance of identifying the strong women in the primary industries.