Pattie O’Boyle is an advocate for everything agriculture. Having grown up in rural New Zealand, much of Pattie’s work life has always been connected to the primary industries. These days she sees herself as a passionate and critical farming partner in a sustainable, successful and satisfying family farming business. As a mother of three increasingly independent children, she remains a strong believer of serving her community and the industry she is so proud of.

After a childhood growing up on a 4th generation sheep and beef family farm near Alfredton, Wairarapa, Pattie attended and qualified with a Business Studies Degree from Massey University, majoring in Valuation and Property Management. While her career began with the ANZ Bank, it wasn’t long before the pull towards agriculture and rural finance grew strong.

Pattie’s career culminated in an extremely challenging yet satisfying period as a Rural Manager in the Central Plateau area. She did this for many years whilst being involved with the running and building of her own farming operation alongside husband Tony.

“When we started out I worked off farm to help build not only my career, but our business as well. I loved that the Rural Manager’s role allowed me to build and maintain strong working relationships with farming families, and help them in that ever-important area of finance. A role that combined the 3 F’s: family, finance and farming – what’s not to love?”

After building up to their 750 cow dairy farm operation (across 2 properties) on the Central Plateau, Pattie and Tony decided to pursue their strong desire to enter sheep and beef farming. After looking at over close to 100 farms, they finally pinned down a property that they could call home. These days they own and operate a drystock property “Marangai” in the Tinui district, where they run approx. 8000 stock units over 875ha effective, with an 80:20 split of sheep to cattle.

With NZ Inc. firmly set in Pattie’s thinking, she is always looking to do her bit for the industry she’s passionate about. She is a past Trustee of the Dairy Womens Network (DWN) Trust Board, a current Trustee of the Wairarapa REAP Board and up until recently, an elected Farmer Councillor on the East Coast’s Beef and Lamb Farmer Council. In 2014, Pattie completed the Agri Womens Development Trust (AWDT) 10 month Escalator programme.

“I found this programme absolutely invaluable. It helped refresh my skills, sharpen my focus and broaden my networks. I would strongly encourage other NZ women in the sector to consider stepping forward and grabbing some of these amazing opportunities that exist. It really has been life-changing for me.”

Upon completion of the Escalator programme Pattie was an Associate Board Member for AGMARDT. “I was very fortunate to work alongside, and be mentored, by several highly experienced company directors on AGMARDT’s board.”

Relishing the opportunity that this provided, she was able to observe great governance in action and learnt even more about the width, breadth and depth of NZ’s primary industries.

These days Pattie enjoys her work as a Communication Facilitator, delivering for the Understanding Your Farming Business (UYFB) programme, organised by the Agri Womens Development Trust. She loves that she can be involved in a role that brings together her love of finance, farming and the development of others, in particular women. She’s also excited to see personal and professional development programmes such as UYFB playing a crucial role in the industry and their contribution to New Zealand’s goal of doubling agricultural export receipts. Pattie finds it rewarding to support the phenomenal growth that can occur when motivated rural women come together and gain the confidence to play a greater role in their own farming businesses.

Pattie, you are an amazing practitioner and advocate for the primary industries in New Zealand! We love the diverse experiences and roles that you have found your self in and how you have used them all to fulfil yours and others full potential as AgWomen.