NZ Young Farmers: North Island road trip

By: Brad Markham

Meeting keen young farmers from around the country was one goal of an extensive road trip recently undertaken by NZ Young Farmers new chief executive Lynda Coppersmith

Her travels saw Lynda make her way around the North Island as part of a whirlwind road trip that allowed her to meet members and understand what’s important to them.

Lynda Coppersmith on a member’s dairy farm in Taranaki

It was also an opportunity to promote the business of farming to local communities and groups. The trip enabled Lynda to attend NZYF-organised events and club meetings in Hawke’s Bay, Taranaki, and the Waikato.

She also joined 35 teachers on a Teachers’ Day Out event in Hawke’s Bay, one of six being held this year.

Matthew Herbert, Lynda Coppersmith, and Jessie Waite

"We visited Patangata Station and the well-known Waipawa Butchery, and the Zeffer Cider Company," Lynda says. "Zeffer Cider is an award-winning company, which has just relocated from Auckland to Hawke’s Bay, where its fruit is grown."

Teachers’ Day Out is an annual event that gets teachers out of the classroom and into fields and factories.

"They loved it. They were absolutely blown away. The teachers met lots of inspiring people who really got their imaginations going," she says. The event is part of the work NZ Young Farmers carries out in schools to promote the primary industries.

Lynda Coppersmith talking to members in Waipukurau

"One of the Beef + Lamb New Zealand guest speakers talked about the huge range of careers on offer for students," she says. "The primary sector needs another 50,000 qualified workers by 2025. We are playing a key role in helping to achieve that target."

NZ Young Farmers clubs organised meetings in Waipukurau, Hamilton, and Toko enabling Lynda to meet members. More than 30 Central Taranaki Young Farmers attended a meeting at the Toko Tavern.

"Those social gatherings helped me realise just how important clubs and members are to our identity," she says. "I met some really engaged members who are passionate about the role our organisation plays in helping young people connect and grow."

Teacher’s Day Out, Hawke’s Bay

Central Taranaki Young Farmers is using some of the money it receives from sponsor CMK to subsidise memberships for new members. "One of the topics of discussion in Hamilton was about widening the diversity of members," she says.

Lynda started at NZ Young Farmers on 1 October and is based in Christchurch. As well as the road trip, she has attended the Lincoln Young Farmers AGM and a meeting of the Tasman Region executive.

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