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.

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