Emma wins Tararua Shep­herd of the Year

Bush Telegraph - - Focus On Farming - By DAVE MUR­DOCH

Four can­di­dates — two men and two women com­peted for the ti­tle of Tararua Shep­herd of the Year 2018.

At the Green­hill Sta­tion Field Day on Fri­day April 27 Emma Lewin was de­clared the win­ner.

Ac­cord­ing to judge Damian Reynolds of To­taranui An­gus each was put through their paces in a rig­or­ous two-hour as­sess­ment on the prop­er­ties where they cur­rently work.

This in­volved both prac­ti­cal skills such as stock han­dling and shear­ing as well as knowl­edge of the in­dus­try and op­er­a­tion of the farm they work on.

Damian said that if his three chil­dren grow up as ded­i­cated to the in­dus­try as these four can­di­dates he would be very happy.

Emma re­ceived $5000 made up of cash, prod­ucts and ser­vices from the spon­sors.

Emma works at Po­hue­tai Farms as a shep­herd based on the Tara and Pa­pa­hau blocks, run­ning the com­mer­cial 2th flock and trad­ing live­stock.

Emma com­pleted Ag train­ing at Taratahi, achiev­ing a Level 2 and 3 sheep and beef cer­tifi­cate and level 4 sheep cer­tifi­cate.

While work­ing full time Emma stud­ied two nights per week for two years to gain a Lin­coln Diploma in Agri­cul­ture.

She is cur­rently sit­ting level 5 pro­duc­tion man­age­ment through the PITO.

Emma has been shep­herd­ing for seven years work­ing on a sta­tion in the Rakaia Gorge in mid-Can­ter­bury, then on a Land­corp Block at Te Anau be­fore leav­ing New Zealand, trav­el­ling and work­ing in Scot­land and gain­ing a good idea of how they farm and how NZ meat ex­ports fit into their mar­ket.

She has been in her cur­rent role for 16 months.

“Emma re­ally im­pressed us with her tech­ni­cal knowl­edge around an­i­mal health, pas­ture cov­ers, and tar­get feed­ing lev­els,” the judges said.

“Emma was able to share a lot of de­tail about mob sizes, cur­rent live weights, ro­ta­tion lengths and had a clear un­der­stand­ing of what these de­tails would look like in six months’ time. Emma’s drive and cu­rios­ity to keep learn­ing re­ally im­pressed us, with the de­ter­mi­na­tion and ded­i­ca­tion shown to achieve fur­ther ed­u­ca­tion whilst work­ing full time.”

This was the sec­ond time Emma had en­tered the con­test and she said that the first time helped as she did not know what to ex­pect. She was sur­prised at the ex­ten­sive knowl­edge she had to know about farm op­er­a­tions and for the next year she grilled her boss to get up to speed.

She thanked the staff at Po­hue­tai for al­ways en­cour­ag­ing her in de­vel­op­ing her skills and for treat­ing her the same as the boys.

Emma hopes win­ning Tararua Shep­herd of the Year will launch her ca­reer.

She wants first to progress to head shep­herd be­fore go­ing on to stock man­ager.

EMMA Lewin with her award, wear­ing the jacket she won as Tararua Shep­herd of the Year on Fri­day April 27 at the Green­hill Sta­tion Field Day.

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