Currently studying for her National Certificate in Agribusiness Management (Resource Management) (Level 5), Sheryl has been a great ambassador for training with AgITO. With her partner Brian Vergeest they run a Carter Holt Harvey farm 20 minutes out of Tokoroa and have a number of staff also training with AgITO. Their farm has hosted training courses and it is input like Sheryl's that help make AgITO the success story it is!
Were you brought up on a farm / or what got you into farming?
I was fortunate enough to grow up on my parent’s dairy/sheep and beef farm. As I kid always enjoyed animals and farming.
What was your first job like (either on farm or not)?
I left school and worked for a farm merchandise company.
What do you like best about the farming lifestyle and the least?
The best part about farming is working with and meeting likeminded people. This applies to both off and on farm.
The worst is cold, frosty mornings when my hands just don’t want to warm up!
What advantages do you find having done AgITO training? What about putting employees through Ag ITO Training?
I absolutely love being involved with my AgITO training. It’s relevant to our business and what I learn can be directly applied. All of our current staff are in training, whether it be full time or short term courses like the tractor/ATV, effluent or mastitis management. We totally support off farm training, we are firm believers that what’s learnt off farm directly comes back to the farm.
It also gives the employees an opportunity to get off the farm and mix with their peers – it gets them networking with likeminded people
Tell me a bit about your current farming situation – how many staff/cows, etc?
I’m currently sharemilking on two neighbouring properties for Carter Holt Harvey milking 1300 cows. I’m supported by a 2IC, 5 assistants and 2 part time staff.
What farming goals do you have 2 years/5 years ?
I’m currently working towards an equity management position milking up to a 1000 cows.
What are your hobbies outside of farming?
Spending time with my family, cooking, gardening, health and fitness. I enjoy spending time away from the farm at the beach.