By Elaine Fisher

Kate Logan has been dairy farming since before she left school and there was never any doubt where her future lay.

“Dairy farming was a natural choice for me, I love being active and busy and it’s something I enjoy,” says the 21-year-old who is the 2022 Taranaki Dairy Trainee of the Year.

Kate grew up on a dairy farm at Omata near New Plymouth where her parents Hamish and Lil Logan were 50/50 sharemilkers.

“We were there for 15 years, and I was always out on the farm. I loved it.”

Kate did relief milking after school and milked full time most holidays. She began her first full-time farming role at 16.

“I loved the work, but my boss said I should try something different. My parents suggested I go to England where we have family, so almost on a whim, I booked my ticket and went.”

Kate worked for seven months for her uncle and grandfather on an arable farm growing wheat, barley, oats, beans and rape seed oil. “It was a great learning experience, driving tractors and working with the massive gear they have and learning how they cultivate and manage crops. It gave me a new aspect on farming.”

Returning to New Zealand, she began work as a farm assistant in Hawera before moving, this season, to her current role as herd manager for Bede and Shirley Kissick on their 115-hectare, 350-cow farm in Auroa.

Close to the coast, Auroa is just south of Mount Taranaki. “This farm has nice flat terrain. It’s a nice farm and I love it here and hope to stay for at least one more season. The owners have bought the farm next door, so we are busy building a new race joining the farms and cleaning up fallen trees after the recent cyclone. I’m looking forward to seeing how the expansion goes and the step up to 660 cows.”

Calving remains Kate’s favourite time and she takes pleasure in watching the calves she has reared grow and thrive into young stock. She also enjoys horse riding in her spare time. “I’m so lucky to be able to have my horse onfarm with me,” says Kate who competes in eventing and show jumping, plus riding the countryside with friends.

Earning while she learns is another aspect of dairying which appeals and it was her tutors at Primary ITO, plus friends and her bosses Bede and Shirley who encouraged her to enter the dairy industry awards this year for the first time.

“I was a bit reluctant to put myself out there, but I really enjoyed the experience, the people I met, what I learnt and going through the award process with friends.

“I am so grateful to my parents, my current employers and to my first bosses Grant and Paula Holdt who have all taught me so much and helped me get to where I am now.”