Thursday, 13 April 2023 09:55

Consultant aims to help farmers embrace change

Written by  Staff Reporters
Abbey Dowd is part of a new generation of farm consultants helping New Zealand farmers navigate unprecedented change. Abbey Dowd is part of a new generation of farm consultants helping New Zealand farmers navigate unprecedented change.

Perrin Ag's newest graduate recruit is part of a new generation of farm consultants helping New Zealand farmers navigate unprecedented change.

Lincoln University graduate Abbey Dowd joined the firm this month as part of its Empower graduate advisor programme.

Consultants, Perrin Ag launched Empower in 2021 and each year invites applications from graduates from Massey, Lincoln and Waikato universities.

The programme offers hands-on experience across a range of different sectors in the primary industries as well as mentoring alongside the firm's experienced team.

Dowd says the multifaceted nature of the programme has kickstarted her career in farm consulting, providing her with a well-informed understading of issues that affect the sector.

"I'm really excited about the opportunities I'll experience with Perrin Ag. The work that Perrin Ag is involved in is so diverse, from individual farms to large industry-wide projects," she explains.

"I've only just started and in my first few weeks I'm already being involved in projects across the sector."

Perrin Ag has experienced consultants who have been in the industry for a long time and consultants with deep knowledge of the new technologies that are available to farmers now.

Dowd claims it's a great combination to provide solutions to all the challenges farmers are facing.

She grew up in a close-knit community in South Waikato and while she didn't live on a farm, she always knew she wanted to work in the farming sector.

Dowd says the Empower programme has fast tracked her farm consulting career and is allowing her to give back to the community she came from.

"Seeing how our local farmers supported our community as I was growing up is what inspired me to study a Bachelor of Agricultural Science at Lincoln," she says.

"I wanted to help give back to the industry and play my part in helping our primary sector continue to produce quality food in a sustainable way."

Perrin Ag managing director Lee Matheson says Dowd is the latest in a growing roll of Bachelor of Agricultural Science students to graduate from Lincoln University to join the Perrin Ag team.

"Farming and agriculture are more about the future than ever. Who best to work with farmers and growers than the future of our profession - talented and passionate young women like Abbey."

Matheson says Dowd has a strong interest in farm systems and environmental performance, skill sets that are in high demand.

"Abbey's academic excellence, passion for agriculture and curiosity about how we grow and improve the sector make her an obvious fit for our team," he adds.

"Our farmers and growers are navigating their way through a lot of change, and we want to make sure they have access to the best people to tackle these challenges."

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