For 27-year old Cheyenne Wilson, a career in the agri-sector is much more than just a way to earn a living.
The young Southlander of Ngati Awa and Tuhoe descent, began as a calf rearer and worked her way up to farm manager before deciding to study at Lincoln University.
Cheyenne’s vision of the future is about solving two issues, getting rangitahi passionate about the industry and into jobs while shifting the culture in and outside of the primary sector.
HotSource: What were some of the hurdles you faced when getting into dairy farming?
Cheyenne Wilson: Some of the hurdles I faced was my lack of understanding of dairy farming. Growing up on a sheep and beef property, I had preconceived ideas about dairy farming. Being a female in the sector has meant that I have had to work hard to prove my abilities. I have been fortunate enough to have some great employers give me opportunities and encourage me to progress.
What is the most rewarding part about your work?
There are many rewarding parts of the work I do. Working in an industry that provides great nutrition to the world, watching the sunrises and sunsets are always great, working outdoors and with animals and our environment.
What are you working towards in the future in terms of career goals/ aspirations?
I am currently studying towards a Bachelor of Commerce, Agriculture at Lincoln University to set myself up to launch a business working with our rangatahi and encouraging and inspiring them to take up opportunities in the food and fibre sector. I am working part time on farm to keep my finger on the pulse and up to date with what is happening in the sector.
My long-term goal is to fix poverty in New Zealand by connecting people in need with opportunities in the sector.
What’s one piece of advice you would give to a young person considering making a career in the agri-sector?
Give it a crack, you will learn a lot about yourself and others while developing lifelong skills that you can use for the rest of your life.