South Aucklander fourth woman to make Young Farmer Grand Final
Lisa Kendall's a "Jill of all trades" in her day job, and has also proven to be a master of them all by taking out the northern region finalist for the Young Farmer of the Year.
She is only the fourth woman to make it into the grand final. "It's pretty exciting, I've taken the day off after a hectic weekend."
Raised on a lifestyle block at Karaka, south Auckland, Kendall said she had worked with sheep and horses when she was young, which naturally led on to a Diploma in Agriculture and Farm Management.
"I've always liked animals and been interested in agriculture because there are so many aspects including the business side as well as scientific."
Kendall won four of the five agri-challenge titles in Whangarei, including the skills module. That involved tractor driving, trimming a sheep's hoof, handling a cow and determining its suitability to become part of a dairy herd.
She now manages her own farming business, Nurture Farming, and hopes to one day develop her own sheep milk brand.
"Where I live there are a lot of lifestyle blocks and people ask me to do livestock drenching, and property maintenance. Mine is a 'hire a farmer' business."
Kendall said she first picked up her skills through working on dairy farms, but also latterly at a Waimate South sheep and beef farm.
She has started to build up a herd of east friesan milking sheep and now has 40 stock.
New Zealand Young Farmers chief executive Terry Copeland described Lisa as "a real role model" and hoped her success would encourage other young women to participate in the competition.
In 49 years only three women have ever made the grand final before Kendall. Denise Brown placed seventh in 1981, Louise Collingwood was runner up and third place in 2003 and 2001, and Katherine Tucker placed seventh in 2012.
For winning the final Kendall took home $12,500 in prizes including a motorbike and a $1000 dollar cash reward from FMG.
She will contend for the grand final champion in the Manawatu on July 6-8 against six other regional finalists including Otago/Southland's Nigel Woodhead, Aorangi's Arjan Van't Klooster and Tasman finalist Andrew Wiffen. Three of the regional finals are yet to take place.