Sara Crawford, a dairy farmer from Wakanui, Canterbury, is excited about the role which will see her connect farmers who are looking for information on a topic, with those that have experience in that area.
There are 44 farmers in Canterbury/North Otago who have volunteered to provide information on topics ranging from building feedpads and transitioning to once-a-day milking to succession planning.
With a passion for the dairy industry Sara is excited about the new role, which she will do part-time while farming.
“I was blown away, for me to facilitate the sharing of information between farmers, it’s quite cool and I am grateful for the opportunity and the fact that support farmers are offering their time to other farmers, that’s pretty awesome,” says Sara.
“For us the dairy industry has provided so many opportunities and it’s great to be able to help other farmers achieve their goals by providing access to practical information and advice.”
Sara and husband Jared are now in their eighth season as dairy farmers. Neither were dairy farming when they met – Sara had studied to be a chef and Jared was a qualified plumber.
Sara started as a farm assistant near Hamilton. The couple then managed a farm in Matamata before moving to Southland in 2014/15 where they continued to manage before becoming lower order sharemilkers. This season they moved to Canterbury where they are contract milking 1750 cows which involves managing six full time staff and two part-timers.
The couple are very goal orientated and have used the resources available to them as dairy farmers.
They’ve been through Primary ITO, taken specialist courses and entered and won New Zealand Dairy Industry awards. Sara was also a convener for Dairy Women’s Network.
“The progression opportunities in the dairy industry, especially for me, has kept us interested – we got a lot of help as we progressed and now we are helping our staff and it is just so rewarding.”
“Dairy Connect is the same, if we had known about it when we were first starting out we would definitely have used it.”
In her role Sara will promote the service, handle queries and ensure farmers seeking information or advice are matched to the right person.
Dairy Connect is a simple service to use. Farmers who are seeking more information on any topic can contact their local Dairy Connect coordinator via email or phone.
For more information visit dairynz.co.nz/dairyconnect.