The Farmers Fast Five : Ash-Leigh Campbell
Farmers Fast 5
1.How long have you been farming?
I was raised on a Canterbury lifestyle block near Lincoln township and fell in love with farming as a high school student, working as a relief milker for a local farmer who had a 200 cow herd of pedigree Holstein Friesians. I began a full time career in farming mid 2010 as a dairy assistant for TH Enterprises in Dunsandel, Canterbury. Since then I’ve worked in various roles in the dairy industry around Canterbury, on farms big and small, interspersed with some overseas travel and university study (DipAg and DipFM). Roles have included managing a dairy dry stock unit on 530ha on the Canterbury Hill Country (Sheffield), Sustainability Coordinator for Ngāi Tahu Farming as well as completing an AI apprenticeship with LIC. I am currently completing my BcomAg part-time at Lincoln University.
2.What sort of farming are you involved in?
Dairy and Dairy Support plus a small Texel Sheep Stud, Bell-View Texels. I have recently started my role as Technical Farm Manager for Ngāi Tahu Farming. This role requires responsibility for assisting with the management and performance of the 8 dairy farms and 5 dairy support farms (run as 1 unit) at Te Whenua Hou (Eyrewell Forest, Canterbury). I also provide assistance with operational and environmental performance and the implementation and improvement of sustainable farming practices such as Synlait Lead with Pride program.
3.What makes you proud to be a farmer?
The opportunity to be a food provider. It’s great seeing farmers across the country, regardless of what sector engaged, improving their knowledge and adopting new sustainable practices to provide the best produce for the markets.
4.What do you love about your job as a farmer?
My role is different every day! Not one day is ever the same, I can be on the tools tagging 2000 heifers or coordinating our heifer mating programme, to assisting our farm managers with software programmes we use on farm or even out and about the industry representing our business. The change every day in my role is what keeps me excited, engaged and driven.
5. What advice would you give the next generation of farmers?
Take every opportunity that arises, don’t be narrow minded and set in your ways. Having goals is great but keep them short term plus challenging but achievable! Secondly wrap around yourself as many friends, mentors and networks as possible. The driving factor for me wanting to chase a career in the Agricultural sector was built on those sorts of foundations and is what makes me proud to be a farmer today.