Travel to Oz beckons

Jasmine Hall - Central Plateau Dairy Trainee of the Year. By Elaine Fisher.

Dairy farming in Australia and completing a Diploma of Agriculture are the immediate goals for Jasmine Hall, 2023 Central Plateau Dairy Trainee of the Year.

“I had planned an OE when I left school, but Covid stopped that,” the 20-year-old says. She is farm assistant on Stu and Anne Koopal’s 204-hectare Rerewhakaaitu property, milking560 cows.

Instead, Jasmine found work within the dairy industry, which helped confirm her career choice. In May she will leave her job to seek farming experiences in Australia.

“I want to see the differences in the way things are done in Australia. So much is changing in our industry and I want to learn about new technology and new farming methods and how we might do things in New Zealand in future.”

In 2024 Jasmine plans to begin a Diploma of Agriculture at Lincoln University.

“That might take me away from dairying for a while, but I don’t think I’ll ever leave farming completely.

“New Zealand has some natural advantages for producing the best grass-based milk in the world. There are so many young, passionate farmers and professionals embracing technology and changes which also help to drive

the environmental and animal health improvements that the industry is making.”

Jasmine, who along with her title, won $7000 in prizes and two merit awards, was inspired to enter by 2021 Central Plateau Dairy Trainee of the Year, Tayla Flight.

“Tayla’s awards video resonated with me and has shaped my progress in the industry. I’m passionate about working with progressive and passionate farmers and continuing to upskill myself and was lucky enough to work for Tayla for a while.”

Jasmine is also inspired by her parents’ work ethics and how they farmed at Waiotapu.

“They gave me my love of farming

and being outdoors, and milking cows became the obvious choice when I was looking for my first job,” Jasmine says. She began relief milking while still at school.

“I was very academic at school and wasn’t encouraged to go farming by my parents or teachers. Taking time between school and university means I am confident this is the right pathway for me.”

It’s a love of cows which gets her out of bed on cold and rainy mornings.

“I’m really proud of being given the responsibility to manage all of the calves on our farm this year. I’m passionate about growing quality heifers and am thriving on the challenge.

This opportunity is teaching me about all aspects of managing stock, especially pasture management and feed allocation.”

Outside of work Jasmine enjoys playing squash and being involved in the local Young Farmers Club.

Runner-up in the dairy trainee competition was Brandon Pickett-Rust and third place went to Shanyn Ruthe.