Like many of us, Rebecca Hyde grew up with a love for the land, the animals and for the people that are a part of it all. From a very young age Rebecca knew she wanted to be involved in farming. There was never another option in her eyes.
When she was young, Rebecca wanted to be a stock agent and enjoyed every opportunity she got to run her hand over some stock, then she wanted to be a musterer, with her own team of dogs. Throughout her school years Rebecca had no intention of going to University. As a keen rower, when she finished school, she needed a job that would work around her training. It didn’t take long for her to work out she wasn’t going to go far without some further study, so off to Lincoln University, where she completed a BCom Ag in Farm Management.
Straight after Uni, Rebecca was on a plane and off to see the big wide world. Fast forward 2.5 years and she returned home looking for a job. She had always been keen to get a job working with farmers as a rural professional, and a discussion with their fertiliser rep lead her to a job with Summit Quniphos (now Ballance Agri-Nutrients) based in South Canterbury. A sales role was completely new to Rebecca, but once she got her head around the products and where they fit into the farming system she was away. "I enjoyed dealing with the customers and always felt I would never sell them anything I wouldn’t sell my family."
The opportunity came to become Area Sales Manger for the Upper South Island which gave Rebecca a new set of skills, especially managing people. She had always wanted to go farming, and when the opportunity came within her family business to do so in 2013, she felt like her dreams were coming true. However this was not meant to be due to a change in her personal relationship. Rebecca found this as a significant turning point in her life,
"I could still be involved in agriculture but just not how I had envisioned. I made the decision to go back to Ballance and lead the South Island Farm Sustainability Services team, helping farmers and catchments with environmental management. It has been the most rewarding job I’ve done. I want a future for our family farm and others like it and protecting and enhancing the environment we farm in is crucial to the sustainability of the farming industry. That turning point has lead me to being a member of the Beef + Lamb New Zealand Northern South Island council and a 2017 Nuffield New Zealand Scholar. When opportunities come, take them because you never know where they will take you."
Great work Rebecca, we think you are right on the money with needing to improve and protect the environment we farm in so we reach a point where we can call ourselves sustainable. Farming has been such a key part of many New Zealanders lives for such a long time and we want it to stay that way for future generations.