Simone Smail grew up in Invercargill. She had very little contact with the country lifestyle apart, from a couple of school holiday trips to an Uncles farm, which she has very fond memories of. She always loved being outdoors and animals have always been a great passion of hers. Not a huge fan of school, when Simone finished she still didn’t have a direction in mind for a career.
Simone enrolled in an Animal Care course at the local polytechnic which reinforced her passion for being around animals and the outdoors. She spent another two years studying Vet Nursing in both small and large animals, graduating with a certificate as a Rural Animal Technician. While she learnt a lot during her placements at local Vets and loved the diversity, she longed for a more hands on roll.
Simone went on and studied general farm skills through Taratahi. "This was extremely valuable, as growing up in town I had never been exposed to tractors or motorbikes!" It was through this course that Simone was introduced to her current employers, who she has now been with for the past two seasons. "We milk roughly 780 cows at peak, with the young stock on the attached run off. I am really passionate about the animal health part of the industry, working with and seeing the growth of the young stock is so rewarding."
Simone is currently involved in a program in Southland spreading the word in local high schools, which aims to get more students interested in Agriculture as a career pathway. All while she continues learning and moving up the industry herself. "I love that every day I learn something new."
We think having a career in Ag is a real honour, and its awesome that you are taking the time to spread the word to the next generation. You are a fantastic #Agvocate Simone!