True to her upbringing Katryna Macdonald continues to live the life she was born to from her families Clark Junction property. Her story started at Mt Gowrie Station where along with her 3 brothers, she was born and raised. She attended the local primary school in Lee Stream before she took the city head on and finished her schooling as a boarder at St Hildas Collegiate.
Boarding school was not something Katryna enjoyed and was home sick for the whole five years. However, in her final year she was granted the privilege to be a perfect which she was very proud of. The five years paid off when she was also awarded deputy head boarder.
During Katryna’s final year at high school she had the opportunity to follow her Barrel Racing Dream and if you ask anyone who knew her back then it’s all she could talk about. She was lucky enough to ride some very cool horses over the years and today still has two great quarter horse mares plus a wee yearling, which she hopes will keep her dream alive in years to come with their progeny.
Following school Katryna studied a certificate in veterinary nursing at Otago Polytechnic, before practising at Clutha Vets for three years out of both their Milton and Balclutha clinics.
Home then called and she returned to Mt Gowrie Station where she is today helping her father run 10,500 Romney ewes, 160 breeding Simentals cows. It was a lot of work for just two people but hard work and passion got them through each day with ease. It was after 8 years back at home that Katryna decided to head off and have a look around and learn other ways of farming. With a love for the home property she knew she would always return one day.
Katryna's adventure off farm saw her working on some beautiful stations in the Wanaka area along with a short holiday to the UK. She found that after being away from home and learning some great life experiences that she would try her hand at something other than farming hands on for a while. It was then she was lucky enough to be offered a job with what was known as CRT at the time (now Farmlands). Here she acted as the local field representative on the road where she experiences the retail world for two years. Retail was not something Katryna enjoyed thoroughly and she made the decision to resign one day after losing a very beautiful friend.
“I resigned as life is too short to be in a job that you do not enjoy”.
This was the turning point in her life that sent her back to the land she loved and to where her heart was all along. She got to building a new team of dogs both young and old campaigners and went casual mustering for a year before being offered the chance to return to the family farm Mt Gowrie Station. “I adore my family and working together is very special” Stock numbers had changed slightly since i was last home mainly due to seasons changing, this saw more trading cattle and less breeding ewes.
Katryna’s parents have worked hard for over 50 years building the family property to where it is today and is considered an intensively run property for its size. “In today’s days’ world many people do not have their family farm any more so I find it a huge privilege to be here every day and have my parents still here working alongside me”. Mt Gowrie has nearly made the 100 year mark in the family and that is something to be so very proud of.
This talented farm girl likes to stay busy and this last winter she put her creative skills to the test and started a small craft business she calls ‘M G Crafts. Katryna recycles old metal horseshoes into just about anything you can imagine from wine glass and candle holders to braizers. She is also now selling items at a gorgeous local craft shop in Outram called Craft on 87.
And the talent doesn’t stop there she has also learning the heart of bee keeping and is the bee keeper for the stations Bees. She began with 3 hives and now runs 13.
"I really enjoy working with the bees they are such incredible wee critters, and are so cleaver”
Her next wish is to manage the family property alongside her younger brother to enable her parents to start looking after themselves and take a step back. Her dream is to follow in her father’s footsteps whom she can only dream to be like… however we are very confident she will give it her best shot.
“I look up to my father as he as accomplished so much in building this wonderful farm, that I get to call home”. She is also working towards a soon to be private pilot’s licence so watch the skies in years to come for this talent to fly on by, if you’re lucky she might even stop in and share some honey with you or drop off one of her craft creations.
Keep up the great work Katryna you are the essence of hard work and passion.