Taupo¯ woman gets rural leader award
‘‘It was an honour to receive the award.’’
Continued from P1
Somewhere between teaching students, leading a board and raising three daughters, Kylie Leonard has time to milk 400 cows and rear calves.
The Poihipi Rd farmer’s efforts have been recognised by the Dairy Women’s Network.
The organisation surprised Leonard with the 2018 Dairy Community Leadership Award at a conference earlier this month.
Leonard said it was an honour to receive the award.
‘‘The dairy industry is in my heart and soul, and seeing others be involved and succeed is a really great feeling.’’
In addition to her farm work, Leonard hosts visits from playcentres, primary schools, and colleges.
‘‘We had 196 children through last year,’’ Leonard said. ‘‘We sometimes have children who haven’t long been in New Zealand, who have never seen a cow before.’’
The children are introduced to Leonard’s most social cows.
‘‘We have #184, who we call Pretty Girl because she has a bright white face and long lashes. She loves a tickle and a scratch. You can’t move her anywhere too quick until she’s had a scratch; she’ll go when she wants to,’’ Leonard said.
Before farming, Leonard worked as a teacher. At monthly farming sector discussion groups, she often helps local farm workers with their AgITO tertiary qualifications.
Leonard also tutors a number of local children with specific learning abilities like dyslexia, having done postgraduate study on the topic.
All children have strengths, Leonard said.
‘‘It can be really exciting to show children their strengths, enhance those strengths, and to use them to pull the weaknesses along,’’ she said. ‘‘Focusing on those strengths give the children confidence and self belief. ‘‘
Leonard said she hopes to raise the profile of work opportunities in the agricultural sector.
‘‘Everyone can do well [in the dairy sector] because we usually work within cooperative structures – you’re not in competition with your neighbour the business down the road.’’
Leonard, who chairs St Patrick School’s Board of Trustees, said she wasn’t planning to slow down.
Leonard received a scholarship to attend an 18-month Community and Enterprise Leadership Programme at the University of Waikato, as part of the award.
Kylie Leonard won the 2018 Dairy Community Leadership Award.