As the Technical Sales Rep for Farm Source Dannevirke, Joanne Denton looks after about 140 farmers in the Dannevirke and Takapau Plains area. She’s been in the role for a year now and likes being part of the farmer’s decision-making process.
"I enjoy having valuable input to the future of their systems, whether it be new pasture varieties, a specific crop, sprays, feed inputs, or simple animal health decisions, to ensure they are productive and profitable. It’s a real privilege and I also get to work with a variety of systems which keeps things interesting," she says.
Joanne has a Bachelor of Science degree from Massey University with a major in Agricultural Science and a minor in International Business, which she then followed up with a postgraduate diploma in Business Studies. And she’s got real-world experience too.
"After graduating I moved to the Waikato to start a career in dairy farming and spent three years there landing myself a sole-charge management position of 230 cows on a system 5 farm."
Joanne’s business knowledge and on-the-ground experience mean she has a unique appreciation of the challenges faced by today’s farmers.
"The biggest challenge in my role is giving advice and recommending products that prepare farmers for a constantly-changing future. On farm technologies are continually improving and environmental restrictions are getting tighter. This means farm plans have to be adjusted accordingly and recommendations are future-focused so farming businesses are prepared for what is to come and can move with the times," she says.
All Farm Source TSRs receive ongoing technical training from a variety of experts to ensure they can give the best support for the performance and productivity of their farmers’ businesses.
"I am privileged with the opportunity for technical training in this role. It means I can give trusted and relevant advice and expertise to my farmers and the results show.
"Our vendor reps have a great pool of knowledge that we can draw from. This makes them a valuable asset in the job. Whether you are out in the paddock needing a weed identified or in a meeting with a farmer, they have you covered," she says.
Over the past month, Joanne says her farmers have been focusing on setting the farm up for the coming season, "ensuring pasture targets are met, fencing is up to date, rubberware is changed and shed maintenance is sorted".
After a dry spell, recent rainfall has improved grass growth and, despite the odd cold day, soil temperatures are not too bad. Joanne says the region’s changeable weather definitely keeps her on her toes.
"Dannevirke’s weird and wonderful variable climatic conditions makes it a very unique place to farm and work! Within a few kilometres the weather can change from rain to sunshine and let’s not get started on the southerly that it can blow. It means you can’t put every farm under one blanket of conditions - each farm is unique according to where it is on the map."
Outside of work, if she’s not milking cows, Joanne can be found climbing mountains, competing her horses, getting involved in sports and dabbling in a bit of hunting.