Kasey Morris believes that if you Introduce yourself to a stranger in the room, you never know what door they may open. Back in 2014 she was approached for her current role at Cates Grain and Seed, and now is on the road as one of their successful agents and agronomy specialists.
Her daily position sees her providing seed advice, assisting winter feed budgeting and agronomy services for cropping, dairy, sheep and beef farmers. A role she naturally slotted into perfectly given her broad farming back ground.
“I love the day to day aspects of working alongside farmers to achieve profitable results, assisting with food production right through to harvest and managing my own time and data base”.
Her role has also taken her some exciting places across not only NZ but the around the world including Ireland, Wales and Germany to learn new methods and knowledge. A job that Kasey says has a two tier impact as she can listen and learn so much from farmers themselves as well.
She now lives with her 3-year-old son and partner who manages a 1000 cow dairy farm in Ashburton. Always one for thinking ahead and the future Kasey also has invested in her own lifestyle block and section and has realistic dreams of farm ownership.
Kasey was fortunate to grow up on a lifestyle block in the Auckland district. She always knew she wanted to work outdoors, however the town school north of Auckland provided little options into careers within the primary industry. “Lincoln and Telford were un heard of”. However, an opportunity to attend a “Windows into Dairying day” at Kauri dairy factory in Whangarei showed Kasey agriculture was a viable career option and without hesitation she signed up to the PrimaryITO certificate courses. Fast track and Kasey had 4 years dairy farming experience and was ready to go sharemilking. It was at this point that she decided that she would like to see the world before she settled into the farm and never left.
At the age of 22 a one-way ticket to the UK saw Kasey stop in Canada for 18 months’ hay harvesting 135,000 square bales for export to the China horse market, then fencing in the shoulder seasons. She remembers these days as some of the most memorable times of her life, “living and working with those Canadians, we laughed every day and often at the kiwi slang they had not heard before.” Once in the UK, travel across Europe, Mexico and driving a cotton harvester in Australia were all part of her travel experience.
Returning home, she wasn’t quite ready to head back to milking cows so she flew to Nelson, brought a car at the airport, picked up her heading dog in Blenheim and headed south door knocking for a job. “I was often looked at sideways in my Mitsubishi Lancer and my one dog, and one farm even offered me job which they believed would suit me more making beds and cleaning. Needless to say I passed on that one”
This resilient agwoman slept in her car a few nights until she found a job working for her keep for a week on Omarama Station. It was from there headed to Lake Heron to tail lambs. It was whil on the drive north to Lake Heron that Kasey met the managers of Mt Algidus Station at a cutting horse event that lead to a permanent job at Mt Algidus.
Unfortunately, 2 years into her position at Mt Algidus her hips and back started to give her grief on the hills, so she decided to head back to Canterbury to a dairy farm, with her mind set on a career change into a less physical role in the agriculture industry.
Applying for a position in rural retail proved harder than Kasey initially thought and even with 11 years farming experience she was knocked back on more than one occasion for having no sales experience. Even though this really stumped her with such broad farming experience and practical knowledge she was persistent and RD1 saw value in her experience and she was hired as the technical sales rep on road in the Ashburton district.
Kasey is known for her positive attitude and remembers saying to herself “one day I will be good enough those other companies will wish they had hired me” and it was 2 ½ years later and a whopping 35% increase in her client database, she got that exact call from that opposition company inviting her to join their sales team!
Kasey believes if you go above and beyond for employers and respect those around you, your reputation will beat your CV to the next door.
This inspiring agwoman left us with a few gems including: "Do a budget, save your money. Spend it on experience rather than things. For our memories will make us smile in years to come, not the nice furniture we had at 20” and “Plenty of times people will doubt your ability, stand tall and prove to them you are better than anyone they have seen”.
What great advice Kasey you truly are an amazing agwoman and great leader for all those part of and coming into our industry. We wish you all the best with your dreams for the future.