Siobhan O'Malley was born and bred in Christchurch, NZ, as the daughter of an IT professional and a civil servant. She completed a Masters of Arts in Classical Studies and Latin Language. After a successful OE to London and Dublin for almost three years, working in admin and tourism, she returned home and studied to be secondary school teacher.
In the meantime, her husband, Christopher, had decided to try dairy farming just out of Christchurch at Darfield. So less than six months after moving home to New Zealand and buying their dream house, the couple shifted out of it! After a couple of years on wages for Christopher, while Siobhan taught high school boys English and Classical Studies, they took the plunge and went lower order sharemilking in Oamaru. "This was a somewhat unlikely outcome for me as a townie, who had never stepped on a farm before meeting Christopher, and who used to find the total blackness of nighttime in the rural landscape scary!"
Sharemilking started a journey that hopped around the South Island and took them from Grey Valley on the West Coast, to Oamaru and Mid-Canterbury. Along the way, Siobhan and Christopher had three beautiful children: Finnian, Aisling and Ruairi. Their latest stop is a 500 cow herd owning sharemilking role. In 2017 Siobhan, along with Christopher, entering for the third time, won the Canterbury-North Otago Dairy Industry Awards Sharefarmer of the Year 2017. They headed to Sky City, Auckland and ended up winning the national title as well!
Since winning, Siobhan has been busy paying some attention to her kids, running her sharemilking business, getting involved in the Board of Trustees for her local schools, as well as learning the ropes of building a small blog and social media profile for the sharemilking business. The aim of Pukeko Pastures is to try and share what dairy farming really looks like in order to counter some of the negative media portrayals prevalent in the NZ media.
With their current contract coming to an end in May 2018, the herd is on the market and the O’Malley team is in search of their next challenge in the industry. Siobhan is looking for a way to make an impact in the agribusiness sector as the kids grow up a bit more and maybe to grow into a leadership role within the New Zealand dairy industry. She also harbours secret ambition to take on parliament one day!
Siobhan we love your blog and social media posts as Pukeko Pastures. It provides a great insight to a working dairy farm, you guys are awesome advocates for the sector. We look forward to following you on your next adventure!