Farming has been a constant feature in Alice Cartwright’s life. She grew up on a farm just outside Pleasant Point in South Canterbury and has been in the agricultural industry all her working life.
"Since my time at Lincoln University I have worked within the agricultural industry and have found myself always being in a farmer-facing position - from animal pharmaceuticals and nutrition to my current position as TSR at Farm Source in Ashburton where I’m a jack of all trades," says Alice, who has been in the role for three years and has a particular passion for animal health and nutrition.
Based at the Ashburton Farm Source store, Alice works with about 120 farmers in the region between Chertsey and the Rangitata River, an area Alice says is known for irrigation, scale and the ability to grow a wide range of crops.
"One of the things I enjoy most about my job is the interaction I have with so many different farming operations, the farmers, their families and the communities in which they live," she says.
With calving in Southland kicking off at the start of August, Alice says her farmers "will be focusing on getting through the remainder of calving, looking forward to mating season, making the final decisions on their cropping rotation, and replacing cropped paddocks with short or long-term pasture options and rejuvenating run-out pastures".
Calving is always an intense time on farm and Alice knows good support is vital – whether it’s emotional or technical.
"Farmers quite often need to just talk to someone, especially through the stressful busy seasons, and I am more than happy to be there, to listen and see if I can help them out in any way. I like to think I can offer sound and relevant advice when farmers need it; from the day-to-day stuff to new technologies to their cropping needs. I don’t promise to know all the answers, I am forever learning – however we work alongside so many technical experts who are always available to assist myself and the farmer," she says.
Those technical experts are Farm Source’s vendor reps and, by working closely with them, TSRs ensure the best outcomes for farmers.
"Our vendor reps are a huge asset to our business, they’re my go-to for extra advice and support and for further training in areas I would like to learn more about," says Alice, Going the extra mile for her farmers to help them reach their goals is all in a day’s work for Alice.
"I am always keen on making it happen for the farmer and making life easier for them. I have been known to assist people in the shed during busy times on farm, and re-test crops to ensure they are accurately feeding/supplementing their cows."
Alice lives on a cropping/dairy support farm just out of Ashburton with her husband Michael. She’s involved in the Rakaia Squash Club and coaches juniors there. Playing indoor netball, horse riding and biking are also interests and she’s recently started to get into Rogaine, which is like orienteering. "I also love to spend time in my garden and with good friends."