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Young Country: Izzi Panettiere

Young Country: Izzi Panettiere

Young Farmers are the future of New Zealand agriculture, so each issue we shine a spotlight on a young farmers club member. Today we chat to Izzi Panettiere.

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

Fitzherbert Young Farmers Club. I’ve been a member for one year as of this month! I was nominated as the treasurer in the last November AGM and have been loving the role since.

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 really love being able to get out and about with like-minded people of similar ages and similar experience but with such broad backgrounds. I get to be involved in awesome events and help out in the community - get stuck in is our club motto which I really feel fits my lifestyle. Being part of Fitz has helped my confidence as being in a big group of people can be daunting and it's also helped me further my career by opening new opportunities.

3. How did you become involved in agriculture?

I did a Bachelor of Science majoring in Animal Science at Massey University and decided to go dairy farming to get some practical knowledge of the theoretical knowledge I learned at uni. I came for the cow but I have stayed for the people.

4. What is your job now? Tell us about your role, and what your journey has been like so far.

I am a herd manager at Thornton Park - Fonterra. We peak milk 630 spring cows but also calve our adjoining farms 350 autumn cows for them due to our facilities. Our shed is a fully automated freshly renovated 50 bale rotary. I started almost fresh out of uni with no experience in October 2022 and in July of 2023 I moved into a herd manager position. I have experience across both of our dairy farms but spend most of my time these days at Thornton Park.

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 think farming will have a lot more technology involved in the future. We are already seeing a lot of wearable technology coming into play but I expect that to be the norm or the standard within the next 10 years as we progress as an industry. I would love to see a lot more of my generation and the younger generations coming into the industry and I think the technology is going to be a really cool draw card.

6. What are your future plans?

I am looking to move into a 2IC position for the 24/25 season and then into farm management. Personal goals of mine include home ownership by the end of the following season to help build equity as well as spending more time riding my horses and being with my family.

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

It's probably very cheesy but my partner Jake Ferreira is definitely my biggest inspiration. He is the Longburn Farms Manager and has been with Fonterra for 6 seasons. He was the DIA Northland Farm Manager of the year in 2019. He is an inspiration due to the dedication and time he puts into his staff. We are all offered enormous amounts of information relating to the farms that a lot of farm assistants etc wouldn't be privy to. He continually pushes us to strive to be the best we can be and think outside of the box. The training all of the staff get is impeccable and extremely thorough. He fights to give us the best chance possible in the industry and is always there to lend a hand.