Elaine Fisher

From chef to dairy farmer, Rebecca Casidy has always had a strong work ethic.

The 2019 Auckland/Hauraki Dairy Trainee of the Year left school and did a three-year chef apprenticeship before switching gears and entering the dairy industry.

“I was working shift work and a lot of weekends, it definitely prepared me and gave me a good work ethic.”

Rebecca, 24, followed her fiancé’s lead into dairy farming and subsequently the Dairy Industry Awards.

Alex Voysey, runner-up in the Dairy Manager of the Year competition this year, is also a former winner of the Dairy Trainee Award.

Rebecca and Alex met through friends while Rebecca was completing her chef apprenticeship at Skycity.

The city girl had never stepped foot in a farm dairy and admits she was a bit squeamish during her first milking, but she quickly came to love farming and got a job on one of Landcorp’s farms when she finished her apprenticeship.

“Everyone thought I was crazy (going dairy farming), but I saw the passion Alex had for it. For me it started as a job – I never thought I’d enjoy it this much, but I’ve come to have the same passion.

“It’s not just a job, it’s your life, you wake up every day and you want to go out onfarm – which makes the 4am wake ups that much easier.”

Rebecca and Alex work on different Landcorp blocks in Ngatea, with Rebecca having been promoted from a farm assistant to working as a 2IC on a 450-cow operation.

“Landcorp is a really great place to progress and work your way up to different positions,” she says.

Rebecca had witnessed the benefits of networking and career opportunities that come out of Alex entering the dairy industry awards and she was keen to put her hand in the ring.

The awards process has helped Rebecca identify her strengths and areas to improve.

She has completed Level 3 through Primary ITO and is studying Level 4 currently. She entered in 2018 and won the Farming Knowledge Award, which she picked up again this year along with the Community and Industry Involvement Award – Rebecca is a member of Ngatea Young Farmers and is responsible for the club’s publicity.

Getting to rub shoulders with so many successful people in the dairy industry is inspiring and provides plenty of motivation to climb the progression ladder.

“It’s really one big family of people to really push you and get the best out of you, people really want to help you.”

This season Rebecca and Alex are moving to work for Fraser and Amber Carpenter, who won the 2017 Auckland/ Hauraki Share Farmers of the Year.

“I think you can really get caught up in the timeline in how fast you progress. We were planning on going contract milking this season, but we think it’s too good an opportunity to work alongside Fraser and Amber and learn from them.”

While her family were surprised by her move to dairy farming, they have been nothing but supportive, Rebecca says.

“They are really proud and excited to see what dairying has done for us and the life that we are building.”

The couple plan to work their way up the ladder to farm ownership and hope to win the trifecta in the dairy industry awards along the way.


Auckland/Hauraki DIA Most Promising Entrant Award – Robert Over • Campbell Tyson Ltd Farming Knowledge Award , Keeper Life Community and Industry Involvement Award – Rebecca Casidy • BlackmanSpargo Rural Law Ltd Communication and Engagement Award – Stephen Smyllie • DairyNZ Practical Skills Award – Grace Campbell