The New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards has appointed Robin Congdon general manager, succeeding Chris Keeping who served 18 years in the role.
The 24-year old herd manager says she is excited about the future following her win at the Dairy Industry Awards in Invercargill.
“I’m so excited… I cannot wait to keep climbing the ladder,” she told Dairy News.
Smail says farm ownership is a long-term goal that “may take a while, but it’s certainly a goal”.
She won the dairy trainee title in her third attempt, winning $10,600 in prizes and the DeLaval Communication and Engagement Award.
Smail is herd manager on an Invercargill City Council farm, working for Steve and Tracy Henderson on the 780-cow, 310ha property at Invercargill.
Dairy trainee head judge Chris Withy says Smail presented herself well, was at ease in the environment and gave considered, accurate answers.
“She is an excellent example of someone who hasn’t grown up in a farming environment but has developed an obvious love of the land and the stock she works with.”
“Simone shows that anyone can go dairying and succeed if they work hard.”