Growing up on her parents sheep and beef farm in Hunterville, alongside her three sisters, was a great upbringing for Lindy Bennett. She fully immersed herself in farm life, especially loving docking, drafting and shearing time. She had headed off to boarding school, and it was once she was away from the farm, and her pets, that she decided Agriculture was the path she wanted to follow.
After finishing secondary school Lindy milked her first cow, after she volunteered on a local dairy farm to get experience, only to find she loved milking, although not necessarily the early mornings! After a summer milking on a farm at Kinloch, she headed to Lincoln University to study Agricultural Science, all while milking cows to pay for her studies. Her first job out of university was at PGG Wrightson’s Research facility, Kimihia at Lincoln, doing trial work mainly in the brassica division.
Lindy then got the travel bug, so in order to pick up work more easily she got her truck licence. She drove trucks and a bagging machine for a harvest in the States, then returning to New Zealand to work for Martin Bruce, an Agricultural Contractor in Hororata. Next she travelled to the UK to drive tractors for the silage and grain harvest. Lindy loved operating all of the machinery, but confesses it wasn't the best for her waistline! She returned to New Zealand to work for John Austin Ltd, an Agricultural contractor in the Waikato, as a maize Agronomist. "Working for John enabled great exposure to a number of different industries, and many different styles of dairy farming."
It was while working for John that Lindy met her husband, Michael, who was share milking 220 cows on a nearby farm. She began helping out feeding calves before work, with the contracting ‘quiet time’ coinciding with the ‘busy time’ on the dairy farm. After a season together there, they were fortunate enough to find a 480 cow share milking job not far away from the John Austin depot. Three years later the couple were offered to go into equity partnership with the existing owners and their daughter and son–inlaw. "It was a big learning curve, one which we’d do all over again if given the chance. In June 2017 our equity partnership purchased a second dairy farm milking 550 cows."
Lindy currently looks after their young stock at their runoff, grows maize on their lease block and is involved with contract milking 1000 cows across two dairy farms in the Waikato for their equity partnership. She loves working outdoors and has a real passion for working with animals, and growing crops, especially maize.
"What has really made me appreciate how much I love working on the farm and working with animals is hosting overseas travelers, via helpx, which we have done since 2013. Giving them the opportunity to experience farming life and getting close to animals. I gave up full time work at Austins in May 2017, which has given me time to take up more hobbies such as beekeeping, as well as having more involvement on the farms with a focus on the young stock."
We love the way your positive and 'can do' attitude has lead you on your ag journey. A women of many talents, all the best in growing your business and personal endeavours.