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Young Country

Young Country
:Jess Cunliffe competes at the Aorangi Young Farmers Regional Final. Credit Claire Inkson

Each month we shine a spotlight on a young farmer. Today we chat to Jess Cunliffe.

1. What is the name of your club, and how long have you been a member?

Pendarves Young Farmers, approx. 8 years

2. What has been the highlight for you of joining Young Farmers? What are the benefits and experiences that you feel have helped you most?

I enjoy the social aspect and the competitions. There is a great benefit to being around other young farmers including farm discussions, testing my farming skills, discussions from industry representatives etc

3. How did you become involved in agriculture?

I grew up on a farm which created my interest and passion. (As well as from a young age being made to do all the chores and farm work in weekends and school holidays)

4. What is your job now?

I am a valuer at McLeod Valuation and consulting in Ashburton. I am currently working my way to become a registered valuer; I thoroughly enjoy it as a career. I also help on the family farm, which is a 70ha, primarily arable with horticulture for the fresh market on the outskirts of Ashburton Township.

5. What do you think the future of farming will look like, and what would like to see happening in New Zealand agriculture going forward?

I consider agriculture in general becoming more automated with plant breeding and human diet changing to easily allow for this automation. This should hopefully bring down the cost in production for food. I would like to see rural automation become more cost effective to New Zealand farmers.

6. What are your future plans?

I intent to become a registered valuer and in the long term hopefully farm ownership with my partner.

7. Who has been your biggest inspiration in agriculture, and why?

It would be my parents, I admire how they have worked hard to achieve what they currently have, how they managed the realities of farming and involved me in the farming enterprise from a young age. They also encouraged me to work hard and to always strive for more (there was no excuses for not trying).

As told to Claire Inkson