Job: Extension Manager Area: Eastern North Island
Brief introduction about yourself
I grew up on a high country sheep and beef farm in Marlborough where my interests in agricultural grew. On finishing secondary school I headed to Lincoln University to Study Agricultural Science. Ticking that box I then headed overseas for a couple of years before landing back in NZ soil and into the agricultural workforce.
What your typical day is like
No two days are the same for me, but so as long as I have my cell phone, car and laptop all within close proximity I can work from anywhere. I live on a farm in Coastal Wairarapa so generally my day starts with a 50 minute drive to the Beef + Lamb NZ office. Depending on what’s on that day, I can do anything from head along to meetings (farmers, industry representatives, agribusiness professionals etc), facilitate a field day or be in my office planning and organising activities within my regional boundaries.
What you love most about your job
The best bit is that no two days are the same and I often get to be out and about, not stuck behind a desk. I also really enjoy working with a whole range of diverse and interesting people from farmers, service providers to agribusiness professionals.
What skills do you need to do your job well?
I draw from these key skills every day - Communication, Facilitation, Organisation, Flexibility, Relationship building (networking). I am sure you have heard this many times but having a positive and can do attitude is hands down the most important skill you can have.
Are there any qualifications you need in a job like yours?
This role requires and understanding of the agricultural sector therefore an agricultural qualification is recommended but not essential. In my mind the type of qualification you have is not that important, the fact you have one is what matters.
Is a farming background essential to do a job like yours?
It is not essential but it certainly helps. Lots of my time is spent working alongside farmers and agricultural based people therefore I need to be able to relate to them and understand the the challenges, issues and opportunities in
What are your goals for the future?
My passions and interests will always see me working in the rural sector. I am not sure what the future holds but I have confidence that there will always be something for me.
What advice would you give to young people?
Keep your options open at school, studying the basic topics will set you in good stead for any career. Building relationships with people is the biggest asset you have, take time throughout your career to make new relationships and connections as you never know what doors it will open.
How did I get here:
School - NCEA: Geography, PE, Science (Chemistry and Physics), English, Maths (Statistics)
University: Bachelor of Agricultural Science (Hons)