A city girl with coun­try in her blood

Manawatu Guardian - - NEWS - By ASH­LEIGH COL­LIS

Leah Crisp was brought up in the city, but al­ways knew she was a coun­try girl at heart.

With a ca­reer goal of be­com­ing a dairy farmer, Leah joined her TeenAg Club at Palmer­ston North Girls’ High School and be­fore long be­came the vice-chair.

Dur­ing the school hol­i­day the 14 year old was one of 18 Manawatu stu­dents se­lected to de­velop new skills on a TeenAg lead­er­ship course.

“I al­ways thought I was a coun­try girl at heart from the time spent at my un­cle’s farm and my grand­par­ent’s life­style prop­erty,” she said.

“I couldn’t imag­ine my­self in the city now.”

The lead­er­ship course, called Rais­ing the Stan­dards, was a three-day pro­gramme based in Feild­ing and run by NZ Young Farm­ers. It was de­signed to en­hance the skills of emerg­ing lead­ers within TeenAg clubs.

Leah said she left the course feel­ing in­spired af­ter hear­ing from Hamish Best, who was run­ner-up at last year’s FMG Young Farmer of the Year Grand Fi­nal in Feild­ing.

“He told us to dress for the job you want to­mor­row, not the one you have to­day,” said Leah. “At­tend­ing the course was such a re­ward­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

“I learned a lot of new things . . . about team­work, com­mu­ni­ca­tion and deal­ing with con­flict . . . which I can take back to my TeenAg club.” Leah said that dur­ing the course they did goal set­ting.

Leah looks to­wards a fu­ture in which she hopes to study farm­ing through uni­ver­sity or at a hands-on train­ing course.

“Or just like my grandad, I could just pick it up,” she said.

“But I think I’ll get a de­gree.”

The course wrapped up last Wed­nes­day and is the sec­ond of three planned across New Zealand this year.

TeenAg clubs are part of the work be­ing done by NZ Young Farm­ers to at­tract stu­dents into the agri-food sec­tor.

LVN010518a­cleah PHOTO: ASH­LEIGH COL­LIS

PALMER­STON North stu­dent Leah Crisp dress­ing for the job she wants “to­mor­row”.

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