Dannevirke Young Farmers member named Tararua Shepherd of the Year

Posted by on 2 May 2018 | Comments

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Dannevirke Young Farmers member Emma Lewin has been named the Tararua Shepherd of the Year.

The 25-year-old from Bulls works as a shepherd on Pohuetai, a sprawling 2,000 hectare farm south of Dannevirke.

It was her second time entering the competition.

“I entered for the first time last year, when fellow club member and good friend Hamish Duff took out the title,” said Emma.

“I didn’t know the answer to a couple of questions around stocking rates for bulls. I realised I needed to lift my game.”

“So I upskilled, undertook a course and made sure I asked a lot more questions at work,” she said.

Emma described the judging process as being “quite intense”, but an amazing learning opportunity.

“When you apply, you submit a curriculum vitae and an application form describing your achievements and aspirations,” she said.

“If you’re shortlisted, two judges come to your farm and quiz you about pasture covers, stocking rates and your goals.”

“Part of the judging process includes stock handling skills and you have to crutch a few sheep as well,” she said.

Emma Lewin.Emma’s been a shepherd on a 700-hectare block of Pohuetai for about a year and a half.

The block runs 2,300 ewes, 2,700 hoggets, 300 trade lambs, 300 Friesian bulls and about 30 cows.

The property has 70 hectares of crop.

“All of the farm’s trade cattle and young breeding cattle will be wintered on crop on our block, so we’re going to be busy,” she laughed.

Emma attended Taratahi in Masterton between 2010-2011, achieving Level 2, 3 and 4 sheep and beef qualifications.

She then worked on sheep, beef and deer farms in Canterbury and Te Anau.

The Tararua Shepherd of the Year competition is open to shepherds in the region under the age of 27.