New leader back on old turf
2 July 2019
DairyNZ’s new regional leader for Waikato, Wilma Foster, is enjoying reconnecting with farmers in her old patch.
Wilma, who is leading a team of nine consulting officers in Waikato, farmed in Te Aroha and Tirau and owned a farm in Maihiihi before moving to Bay of Plenty 12 years ago. She’s recognising a few familiar faces in her new role, which she started in May.
“It’s great being back in the Waikato and seeing how some of those people I knew when I farmed in the region have progressed,” says Wilma.
Wilma started working at DairyNZ more than 10 years ago while living in the Bay of Plenty, first as a consulting officer and more recently a farm business specialist. At the same time, she was running a dairy farm near Te Puke.
“I’m still involved in dairy farming, which keeps me very hands-on and helps in my role at DairyNZ. I’m always looking at applied and practical ways to use what comes out of DairyNZ.”
Wilma is looking forward to working with her team to support farmers and build networks that the wider farming community can benefit from.
“As consulting officers, we get to see a wide range of farms in different situations. That means we can facilitate the sharing of information and ideas we see among dairy farmers. Our groupsare often a reason for farmers to get off their farm. That brings communities together and creates discussion and connection.” The team also has access to the latest research, putting them in a strong position to help answer farmers’ questions and give science-backed advice, says Wilma.
“When I’m in the office, it’s nice hearing the team getting contacted by farmers and being people who can be relied on for great advice.”
Calving catch ups
During August, DairyNZ’s Waikato consulting officer team will be hosting community breakfasts in six locations around the region. These events will give farmers an opportunity to get off the farm, have a hot breakfast and catch up with other local farmers.
Head to dairynz.co.nz/events for full details.
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